McLaren boss Zak Brown says that his outfit are finally on the “road to recovery” after a number of abject, uncompetitive years, but admits that they have a long way to go if they are to become challengers to the top teams again.
It was a winter of change for McLaren, with team principal Eric Boullier leaving alongside both drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso.
Carlos Sainz was subsequently recruited after leaving Renault and the Red Bull stable, while rookie driver Lando Norris was brought in for his debut F1 season.
After four races in 2019, they are fourth in the constructor’s championship and have enjoyed some positive outings for both drivers, which is in contrast to the disappointments of recent years.
"I think the team’s done an excellent job over the winter," said Brown.
"And that’s everybody. Clearly, we’ve built a better race car this year, the drivers are doing an excellent job, we’re pleased with the driver line-up.
"So it feels like we’re starting the journey to recovery. Last year we were talking more about the start of the road to recovery but by the end of the year [it] felt like we were less competitive than the start of the year, where now it feels like we’ve started in a more competitive situation.
"It’s nice to kind of rebound from China qualifying to have a strong qualifying [in Azerbaijan]."
However, the American understands that they are still a long way away from returning to the very top.
"[There’s] still a long way to go but pleased with all the hard work everyone’s doing,” he added.
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