F1 heading for ‘IndyCar levels of competitiveness’ - Brown

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F1 heading for ‘IndyCar levels of competitiveness’ - Brown

Formula 1

F1 heading for ‘IndyCar levels of competitiveness’ - Brown


Formula 1 could see “IndyCar levels of competitiveness” in the midfield this season such is the close nature of the grid, according to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

McLaren had a tough pre-season campaign as it admits it missed its development targets with the MCL60, but was still able to set lap times comparable with a number of other teams. As the sport’s latest technical regulations enter their second year and convergence starts to take place as different design directions are understood, Brown believes the battle behind the top three or four or four teams will be intense.

“I’m looking froward to the first race I think!” Brown told RACER. “It’s going to be mega-tight. I think what we’re going to start seeing is it’s going to be like IndyCar levels of competitiveness where one weekend you might be P7 and the next weekend you’re P17 and you’re not actually really much slower. Because in IndyCar, it’s like one weekend we’re pole and the next weekend we’re 16th, but that’s how the whole field is.

“I think that’s what’s exciting, is Formula 1’s going to get to the point where maybe there’s four or five different teams that can win and the spread will be ‘one weekend they’re at the front, then the next weekend another team’s at the front’, but everyone just needs to catch Red Bull at this point.”

Red Bull appears to be the class of the field ahead of the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and even Aston Martin based on long run pace, but Brown is confident McLaren can work its way towards the frontrunners over the course of the season even if it might be at threat of being toward the back in the opening rounds.

“We’re not happy with where the car is, which we’ve been public about, no point over-egging where we think we are. But we’ve got good development coming – so has everybody else but hopefully ours is at a quicker pace to get caught up, because that midfield doesn’t look like there’s any backfield now. It’s Red Bull, a couple of cars and then a big midfield. The last three teams look to be bloody quick now.

“They all look on top of each other, so I don’t think there’s a clear tenth-placed team like there was – Williams look to be pretty good now.”