Zak Brown Sees Mercedes-like Qualities In New-Look McLaren

by Craig Venn

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has drawn comparisons between his new-look McLaren F1 Team and the all-conquering Mercedes AMG Motorsport who currently dominate Formula 1.

With the appointment of Andreas Seidl as team principal the final part of the puzzle in the major restructuring of the Woking based squad, Brown says he’s “starting to see” the same qualities in McLaren as that of Mercedes and Seidl is going to make them “even better.”

McLaren currently sit fourth in the constructors’ championship, two places higher than where the finished in 2018. When asked by motorsport.com what key areas of progress he had seen at McLaren, Brown said: “Teamwork. If you look at things like winter testing, I was very pleased to see we were out first team out seven of eight days.

“When we had an issue we got right back to being next team out. Pitstops are really strong. We’ve had some technical advancement there, that’s just teamwork and focus. There’s a very positive vibe.

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed is everyone’s clear on their role, everyone’s motivated, and working really well together. That’s why you’re seeing things like good pitstops and good preparations.

“It’s teamwork that produces that type of results. Andreas is just going to bring another level of clarity to roles and responsibilities and focus.

“If we look at Mercedes winning all the races, yes they’ve got a great budget, but they are also a phenomenally well-run racing team so they can do the pitstops they pull off. They seem to not have bad weekends. That’s a great racing team. That’s what I’m starting to see here and Andreas is going to make that even better.”

Alongside Seidl, McLaren’s newly appointed technical director James Key form an impressive partnership, focusing on getting McLaren back to the front of the field again. And Brown has full faith in his new-look outfit.

“From my leadership standpoint I’m done, I’ve got what I want and am very pleased with it,” he said. “I landed everyone I wanted to land. I don’t feel like I got second-best in any of them. What Andreas ends up doing with the racing team is up to Andreas and he has my full support.”

Seidl himself is approaching his new role with caution, not willing to make big changes at McLaren anytime soon. Instead, he says first needs to “understand the organisation fully.”

“What is obvious, we are missing is 1.5-2s,” said Seidl. “This means that if you put it into perspective with the budget we have, with the infrastructure, we have to do better overall. That’s the mission right now.

“I first need to understand the organisation entirely. Then make my mind up how to structure this project in the future.

“I think it’s important also to get the 2021 regulations because they will affect the overall set-up of the team for the future. Then it’s down to me, together with Zak, to work out this mission and how we want to approach these next years.”

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