Brown took the reins of the brand in one of the worst years in its Formula 1 history
He assures that they have improved considerably, but that they have not yet arrived where he would like to be
McLaren chief executive Zak Brown remembers that when he took over the team in 2017 the mood was much worse than he expected. The American believed there would be an already stabilized rebuilding process at Woking but that wasn’t the case so they had to start from scratch in their final year with Honda, one of the worst in their history .
Brown came to McLaren in one of the worst stages in its history. 2017 was one of the worst years for the team, in which they finished ninth in the World Championship with a Honda engine which they would end up saying goodbye to shortly after. The American admits that he expected a better atmosphere when he arrived, but nothing happened.
“I joined in the worst year in McLaren’s history. The atmosphere within the team was worse than I expected. We were entering the third year with Honda, which we thought was better than the second and in the end it was the other way around. I don’t think it all had to do with them, it was more than anything the environment,” Brown acknowledged in an interview with Fox Sports.
“I thought I had come to a team that was already starting a rebuild, but no, we were still down. It was a surprise, but I knew that with all the wins and titles McLaren had, we had talent in it. Maybe they needed a new direction to give them a breath of fresh air and so far it’s been a great road.”
Five years after his arrival, Brown notices that the atmosphere within the team is much better, as is the trust between all the members. To go far in Formula 1, a good understanding between the whole structure and the arrival of a new wind tunnel is essential, it has also aroused great enthusiasm.
“We have a good time with the races, although every time we don’t win it’s not totally fun. The good thing is that there is more and more confidence in the team and we are working very hard, that’s what you have to do in Formula 1. A few years ago there was bad communication, there were technical problems and the wind tunnel was obsolete, now there is a new one, although we are not yet where we want to be“, said Brown to conclude.
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