McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes there is no reason why the team shouldn’t challenge for the Formula 1 world championship in 2026.
It’s been a long time since the Woking-based team last challenged for the F1 title, with their last win in the constructors’ championship coming in 1998.
They took their last win with Daniel Ricciardo’s P1 at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, marking their first win since 2012.
The team has struggled through difficult periods in the last decade, but Brown believes McLaren are putting in the right components to return to success.
McLaren brings the team into place
“If I look at the things we need to get back to the front, you need two great drivers – I think we have them,” Brown said. F1 Nation podcast.
“You need your technology, infrastructure, state-of-the-art and competitive – we will do it by the end of the year.
“We talked a lot about the wind tunnel, the simulator and the production unit; all these things are very close to completion. Some of them are ready, so we will have the technology.
“Next comes people, and we have some exciting announcements coming soon. We have a great team, but we need some extra thought and fresh ideas. We have announced some of these announcements (and there are more).
“All of these people will be joining us over the next nine months, so by the end of the year we’ll have our team in place, we’ll have our infrastructure in place, we’ll have our drivers in place.
“However, we are already working on the 2024 car, so we won’t have full combat capability at the start of 2024 development because that’s what’s happening now.”
Back to winning?
With these factors in mind, Brown is confident the team is on track to fight for race victories – and ultimately championships – over the next few years.
“I think our goal next year is to get back to the 2021 season – a few podiums, pole positions, a win, a mix of that,” he explained.
“And then (in) 2025 we’ll have everything we need, and for enough time, so I’d like to think we’ll be winning races in 25.
“And when you win races, we have a new era (of regulations) starting in 2026. On paper, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t fight for the championship.”