Brown never felt ‘negative pressure’ at McLaren

Image by Zak Mauger/LAT

Brown never felt ‘negative pressure’ at McLaren

Formula 1

Brown never felt ‘negative pressure’ at McLaren


Zak Brown insists he never felt under any negative pressure at McLaren despite a difficult start to his time as CEO of McLaren Racing.

Joining the team at the end of 2016, Brown oversaw the split from Honda a year later and a number of personnel changes at McLaren but results were poor last season. A new technical team structure and driver line-up is paying off this year, but Brown says he feels the same level of pressure on his shoulders as he did when the team was struggling to perform.

“I feel under pressure every day,” Brown told RACER. “I felt like I had it in my old company, because I think pressure for me is a motivator. So, I kind of welcome the pressure. You know, you’ve got to wake up every day and be on the throttle.

“I feel like I’ve got great support inside McLaren. So, it’s never been a negative pressure. There’s been times it has been immensely frustrating, especially last year when you’re showing up and you already know it’s going to be a tough race weekend. That’s not a fun way to go racing.

“So, I’m having a lot more fun now. But the pressure’s just as strong today as it was a year ago or, when I started my company 20 years ago.”

While encouraged by McLaren’s performance so far that has the team sitting fourth in the constructors’ championship, Brown says the attitude has been to continue on the current path rather than get too distracted by any potential external factors.

“There’s still a long way to go, even just in this season. But, I’m pleased with the progress. One of the reasons why we announced the drivers early is we just want to mind our own business, keep our heads down, get on with it, stay out of all the silly season stuff and the politics and just get on with the job.”