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McLaren sets five-year plan to return to the front

  • Published on 29 Dec 2018 15:22
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has outlined a five-year plan to bring the Woking squad back to race and championship wins. The Woking outfit is enduring a difficult period that stretches back to 2013, having not won a Grand Prix since Brazil, 2012.

Despite a double podium finish in Australia, 2014, it has failed to get close to the top three since. After a disastrous three-year stint with Honda as its engine supplier, it switched to Renault power units for the 2018 season - however the partnership failed to produce stronger results.

However Brown, who took over from Ron Dennis at the helm of the team towards the end of 2016, says that there is a long-term plan in place: “I have just presented a five-year plan, and within that plan, we think we have a journey to get back to winning races, and then once you’re winning races, you’re competing for the championship.

“I think it’s critical that Liberty makes changes to the sport because, right now, the way the sport is going, it’s difficult for more than two or three teams to compete for the championship.

"So I think there are things that are out of our control, but hopefully we can influence that need to change for multiple teams to be able to win races and compete for the championship. We have laid out a journey and investment, a road to recovery that sees us getting back to the front of the grid in that timeline.”

But the American doesn't want to make any bold predictions for the 2019 season: “I think we want to stay away from making predictions,” he stated. “We know that it hasn’t been pretty for the last couple of years, so we don’t want to make that mistake again.

“I would say our expectation is that we will continue to make a step forward. … We had 15 [grid-place penalties in 2018] as opposed to a few hundred, so this year was a step forward, although not the step forward we had hoped to make.

“So our expectations are that we are going to continue that journey in 2019, but I want to stop short of saying where that will be in the constructors’ championship. I know where I hope to be, but I don’t know where we will be until we hit the ground running.”

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