McLaren is “years away” from being able to challenge for championships again in Formula 1, according to CEO Zak Brown (pictured above).
Eric Boullier resigned from his role of racing director earlier this week as McLaren underwent a restructuring of its racing leadership group following a poor start to the season. The move is the latest change in attempts to improve McLaren’s performance, and when asked if the team faces a a number of seasons of building in the same manner that Red Bull and Mercedes did before winning titles, Brown replied: “Yeah, realistically.
“This is going to take some time to fix. I think we are years away. I don’t know if that’s two or 10, or somewhere in between. Probably more like somewhere in between, but I don’t want to get into predictions.
“I think we have to be very realistic and honest with ourself, with our fans, with you [media], to say that this is going to be a journey. I think everyone needs to recognize that. I think we had a good finish in the last race relative to where we started, but we were uncompetitive.
“Not much has changed since the last race, so I think everyone needs to not starting having too high expectations — ourselves included — at Silverstone, because all that has really happened is five or six days have gone by.”
While seeing McLaren as facing a long-term effort to return to the front, Brown is also wary of what the team can achieve this season, saying he wants to finish fourth but refraining from predicting it will do so.
“We’re in a pretty big fight for fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. All the teams are very close there. I don’t want to make predictions. That has got us into trouble in the past, so I don’t want to repeat some of the mistakes we’ve made. What I’d like to do — and what we are going to do — is fight like mad to finish fourth in the championship.
“Whether we’ll achieve that, we’ve seen, in these last few races… if you’d have looked in Australia, one would say that fourth looks pretty achievable. Sitting here right now, we’ve dropped in the points last race. We closed a little bit of the gap to Renault, but the gap more closed on us from behind, so I think that’s got to be the goal, but that’s not a prediction.”