McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has claimed in today's F1 "it is unlikely" a team will repeat the feat of Brawn GP and jump the order to claim a shock championship title.
Brown has stated 2024 is the target for McLaren to once again establish itself as a serious championship contender but with all-new aerodynamic regulations coming in for next season, questions have been asked as to why 2022 is not seen as a golden opportunity by the team.
Brawn GP emerged out of the then-back of the grid Honda team to take F1 by storm and take both F1 titles, with Jenson Button taking the drivers' championship.
Brown explained: “I think we’ve been on this journey. When I joined we’ve gone ninth, sixth, fourth, third and here we are in third.
"I think it gets tougher as you get closer to the front so I don’t think it’s going to be two, one. That would be nice but I don’t think that will happen and 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 have let loose the investment, it is simply going to take time."
He added: “But we are going to give it our best shot and you never know with the new formula who is going to get it right, who is going to get it wrong.
“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.
“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.”
Infrastructure continues to hold back McLaren
Currently, McLaren is competing with facilities Brown considers to be not up to scratch.
Behind the scenes, a lot of work has been completed in order to improve this situation with a new wind tunnel, set to open in 2022, just the tip of the iceberg.
“Most notably the wind tunnel and given how important that is, we can’t make up that lost time," said Brown.
"We’re writing the cheques for it but it’s going to take a couple of years to finish the wind tunnel.
“We have other CapEx that you will start to see. Everything from our brand centre – we were redoing that to be more sustainable and in line with the future and more efficient so we had a temporary motorhome which I don’t miss because our team hub is back to what we should be looking like, and we have other stuff that you will see later this year that will become visible that you will see our investment.
“But we really won’t be, in our opinion, caught up on our infrastructure until the 2024 car comes out and so I think until then we will be doing the best we can with the equipment that we have.
"I think until we get caught up, it will be difficult to think that we could beat those guys in a straight-up fight."
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