McLaren chief Zak Brown has claimed that the French Grand Prix in 2022 proved to be a pivotal moment in the turnaround of his team's fortunes.
For many, McLaren's sudden turnaround into front runners occurred during the 2023 season when mid-campaign they went from lower-field also-rans to regular podium contenders almost over night - and now they could lead a title charge in 2024.
Yet according to CEO Zak Brown the change was sparked a year earlier following an utterly forgettable 2022 French Grand Prix where Lando Norris could only place in seventh and Daniel Ricciardo was down in ninth.
Final straw at French Grand Prix
The race at Paul Ricard came after a big upgrade which still left them nearly a minute off of race winner Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.
“For me, the big moment was the French Grand Prix [in 2022] when we were late with our upgrades and they were ineffective,” Brown told Autosport.
“The reaction from the leadership was not the reaction I would have expected. That was also at the same time when you start to develop [the following season's] car.
“So that was the big moment for me, and obviously we made the changes at the end of the year.
“I asked Andrea Stella to take a look at what is going on and he rang the bell saying: ‘let’s change this, change some people, hire some people,’ and that is when the development started ultimately.”
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