McLaren Racing chief executive Zach Brown said the team’s drop to fifth in the constructors’ championship for 2022 was a “disappointing” result.
Alpine won a close battle between the two teams for fourth place. Although McLaren’s Lando Norris outscored both Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo failed to beat either Alpine driver and took the lead of the season ahead of his team-mate.
McLaren confirmed midway through the year that Ricciardo would not see out the final year of his contract in 2023. Team principal Andreas Seidl joined Sauber before leaving the team at the end of the season to move to Audi.
Brown admitted he was not satisfied with McLaren’s results during the season. “[It was a] A difficult season, for sure,” he told Spediccafe. “It’s sad that the fifth is out of the fourth and before that, the third.
“We had our challenges. We definitely had a good weekend – a good stage at Landau. Of course, we fought hard to get hold of Daniel to maximize his performance. So as you guys know very well, it’s been difficult all season around the media.
McLaren lured Oscar Piastre from Alpine, where he was reserve driver, to replace Ricciardo the following year.
“We’re extremely excited to deliver another Aussie at the Oscars – and that wasn’t without a bit of arm wrestling and drama,” continued Brown. “So yes, a difficult year.”
Brown said the team will aim for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship again in 2023. They also aim to reduce their performance deficit for future cars.
“We have two data points that we are very focused on, one is how close we are to the winning team and if the team is not Mercedes, our other data point – what is the best Mercedes team. The same engine – how close we are to Mercedes,” explained Braun.
“So those are our two main data points in terms of competition and we want to be closer to them next year than we were this year. Other than that, it’s hard to set a specific number for that. Of course, we want to get back to at least fourth in the championship. But I think in the top three.” We need a little more of our technology in place to get in.
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