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Brown targets 2024 for title challenge

NEWS STORY
23/08/2021

Battling Ferrari at the front of the midfield, McLaren boss, Zak Brown doesn't think the Woking outfit will be able to challenge for titles again until at least 2024.

Currently third in the standings, on exactly the same points (163) as Ferrari, those dark days of 2015 - 2017 remain an (increasingly) distant memory.

New partnerships and fresh investment have clearly boosted the Woking-based outfit, which, in a case of history repeating itself, is seeking to branch out into other disciplines again.

Third in the 2020 standings was clearly no fluke, for the team, which can boast 12 drivers' titles and 8 constructors', is currently level third with Ferrari, albeit over 120points behind the Red Bull and Mercedes battle.

While the good times are slowly returning to Woking, team boss, Zak Brown isn't getting carried away.

"We've been on this journey of... when I joined, we've gone ninth, sixth, fourth, third, and here we are in third," he says, according to Speedcafe.

"It gets tougher as you get closer to the front," he admits, "so I don't think it's going to be two, one... that would be nice, but I don't think that'll happen.

"I think while we now have the annual resources to compete at the same level as everyone else, we are behind on our infrastructure, and while we've let loose the investment, it's simply going to take time."

Key to moving forward in terms of that infrastructure is the team's new windtunnel, though there is still no clear date in terms of when it will be online.

"We're in one of the less technically developed wind tunnels unfortunately, and that's a huge disadvantage," he admits.

"We'll have no excuses come the 2024 season, and we'd like to think at that point the sport is going to be so competitive that there'll be a variety of teams fighting for the championship. I'd like to think we'd be one of them."

Like many, Brown is hopeful that the 2022 rules overhaul could cause some upsets, though he isn't getting carried away.

"You never know with the new formula who's going to get it right, who's going to get it wrong," he says. "Brawn obviously punched above their weight when they won the championship and they weren't the biggest resourced team, but also I think the rules are so much tighter now to come up with a big clear advantage like that.

"I think in today's world is going to be more difficult. So we're going to give it our best shot, but I think we should manage expectations that it's going to get tougher from here on out."

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1. Posted by kenji, 23/08/2021 11:52

"Some interesting points to consider...There was talk of winding down the use of wind tunnels in the future and being replaced with new and improved computer systems. As for the costs I expect that there will be more costs to come before the new wind tunnel is completed so does that form part of the ongoing cost cap or is it considered to be on a 'paper pre paid' journal entry? I rather like Brown as he's a real racer but i question his plan forecast. This time next year would be the right time to make forward forecasts after all the new cars have had a minimum half season to shake out the 'goodies' from the 'baddies'."

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2. Posted by Max Noble, 23/08/2021 10:31

"@Zak Brown - thank the lord you got that wind tunnel work done pre-cost cap. Second point, March 2024 start of Season noted in diary for follow-up on those words… see you then!"

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