McLaren CEO Zak Brown is confident the Woking team can produce a winning car for the foreseeable future as Lando Norris aims to battle further up the grid.
Norris has been granted a long-term deal to continue racing at McLaren, but that doesn’t mean the 23-year-old will be happy competing in the midfield squad.
The British team has invested heavily in improving its development facilities, but various factors have delayed McLaren’s plans to introduce its new wind tunnel.
It would be an overstatement to dismiss McLaren’s chances of climbing the grid because of these delays, but they certainly highlight the significant difficulties the team must overcome.
Talk to the media, Zak Brown underlined his confidence in the team’s ability to deliver winning machines for the foreseeable future:
“I’m confident that we’re going to give him a winning car. We have a long-term contract with him, and I think he feels very comfortable…
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“He knows the journey. He is brought into the journey that we are on.
“It’s too early to worry [Norris leaving].”
Perhaps Brown is right to downplay Norris’ chances of leaving the team, given that he just signed a multi-year contract with the team.
However, it should not be forgotten that Norris has already spent four years at McLaren and is now an established driver on the grid.
Regardless of his ability to compete with Verstappen and Leclerc, Norris will be looking forward to battling for race wins.
Earlier this year he admitted to having brief contract discussions with Red Bull – to finally sign a new contract with McLaren.
This clearly signals Norris’ commitment to the team, although some more skeptical observers would say the prospect of facing Verstappen is more of a deterrent.
Either way, 2023 will allow McLaren to demonstrate that they can become a serious threat in the future.
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