Zak Brown reckons the McLaren F1 Team has an ‘incredibly exciting’ driver line-up in 2021, with Daniel Ricciardo joining Lando Norris at the Woking-based team.
Ricciardo has joined McLaren after two years with the Renault DP World F1 Team, with the Australian replacing Scuderia Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz Jr. alongside Norris, who is preparing for his third season with the team.
Brown, the CEO at McLaren, said at the launch of the Mercedes-Benz powered MCL35M that he was thrilled to have the ‘formidable racers’ of Norris and Ricciardo at the team for 2021.
“We’re thrilled to launch our 2021 team with Lando and Daniel, as we prepare to get the Formula 1 season started,” said Brown. “We’ve got an incredibly exciting driver line-up this year, both are formidable racers on-track and great characters off-track.
“Lando is a naturally fast and intelligent racer on an exciting trajectory, while Daniel is a multiple grand prix winner with a sharp racer’s edge and exceptional talent.”
Brown says the team had to press the reset button at the end of 2020 due to leaving Renault and switching to Mercedes-Benz power for the first time since 2014.
He is expecting an even tougher campaign to what was seen last year, but he knows the team has plenty of ‘committed and valuable partners’ working alongside them that can help propel them to even better results.
“After a challenging but rewarding 2020, we have firmly hit the reset button for this season as we continue on our path towards the front of the grid,” said Brown. “This will be an even tougher season but we’re ready to meet the challenge.
“I want to pay tribute to Formula 1 and the FIA and our fellow teams in continuing to work hard for the benefit of our sport as we strive to bring exciting racing to fans around the world.
“We head into this season with an incredible group of committed and valuable partners at our side, who are such a vital part of our team. 2020 represented a significant challenge, not just for McLaren Racing but also many of our partners, so to have maintained their support is a testament to the quality of our partners and the relationships we have formed on our journey together.”
Brown says he cannot wait to see fans trackside at events again after coronavirus prevented the majority of venues from allowing supporters into their facilities in 2020.
“We’ve really missed having our fantastic fans with us at track, and we can’t wait to have them join us again when safe to do so,” said Brown. “As always, we go to every grand prix weekend with the ambition of putting on a great show and achieving the best possible result for our incredible fanbase.
“I’m proud of our team and the progress we’ve made together so far. We’ve still got a long way to go, but we’ve got a great spirit in the team and we’re becoming stronger competitors as we continue on our journey.”