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McLaren’s Zak Brown says team ‘didn’t hit’ MCL60 goals

McLaren's Oscar Piastri during testing. (Formula One F1 - Pre-Season Testing - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - February 23, 2023)
Credit: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The Formula 1 season starts on March 5, and the McLaren race team isn’t optimistic about where the new MCL60 car is headed.

Practice runs in Sakhir, Bahrain, have been less than a full success, according to McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

“It’s hard to know until we get going,” Brown said. “We know we set some goals for development, which we didn’t hit, and we felt it was better to be honest about that.

“Like everyone, we have a lot of development coming, so we are encouraged by what we see around the corner. (But) I think we will be going into the first race off of our projected targets. (So it is) hard to really know where that means we will be on the grid.”

Regarding test runs at Bahrain International Circuit, Brown added, “We had some teething problems (Thursday). We had Oscar (Piastri, the Australian driver) doing most of the heavy lifting in the morning getting the car dialed in. Nothing alarming, just usual testing bugs if you like.

British driver Lando Norris focused on longer runs Friday, Brown said, “so we’re still understanding the car and have a lot of testing ahead of us, relatively speaking. Then we’ll get focused on race set up.”

McLaren came in fifth place in the F1 constructor standings last year, logging just one podium finish and no wins.

Looking ahead to this year, Brown said, “Our aspirations are to get back to the front. We know that will take a little bit more time. … All the technology infrastructure is either in or going to be pretty much completed this year, so that’s quite exciting.

“We have some good developments coming, but so does every other single team in Formula 1, so we need to pick up the pace.”

–Field Level Media

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