The potency of a Mercedes power unit, the sublime talents of Daniel Ricciardo, the leveller of a budget cost cap: is the dormant Formula 1 ‘big beast’ that was once McLaren about to be roused to roam once more? In a year of relative rules stability in the last season before a big regulation shake-up, the Woking team remains sensibly anchored to reality.
Nevertheless, when Motor Sport caught up with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown a week after the wraps came off the 2021 MCL35M, the American’s palpable sense of optimism shone a light that this proud organisation can at least now see a negotiable route back to the front, step by careful step. Brown is too long in the tooth to get overly excited by the hard-earned third place his team achieved in the constructors’ ranks last term, but in this frank interview he reveals a clear vision for both McLaren and F1. Always and unapologetically a fierce commercial animal, the 49-year-old is also imbued with a genuine, intuitive and deeply competitive racing spirit. It’s a potentially powerful and influential combination.
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