The Australian Grand Prix Corporation podcast In the Fast Lane has released this week’s episode with special guest, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
Brown joined In the Fast Lane co-hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to discuss the resurgence of one of the most famous teams in Formula 1, his pride in how McLaren handled the fairy-tale ending of Carlos Sainz’s move to Ferrari, how he convinced Daniel Ricciardo to switch from Renault for next season, and more.
Discussing the delay in rule changes to 2022, Brown says that it works in McLaren’s favour but ultimately the fans were the biggest winners from the changes.
“I do think the rule change delay works to our benefit for I would say two reasons. One, the budget cap gets kicked so now the new car has to be developed under the budget…The other is there will be learnings with Mercedes as there were with Renault always in year one… We’re the only team changing power units, and we can now develop our 2022 car with the same budget as others, I think we’ll be on a more equal footing,” Brown said.
“We’re getting outspent five to three by Mercedes, Ferrari and quite a margin to Red Bull so I think it just means we’re all going to be competing with similar resources so it’s the good old phrase of may the best man win, may the best team win.”
“I think the real winner in this will be race fans, because you’re going to go from two teams that can currently win to maybe we’ll double, triple that and you’ll see five or six teams that can win, and I just think that’ll be much more exciting for Formula 1 fans,” he continued.
Brown goes on to discuss what convinced Ricciardo to move to McLaren for 2021, crediting McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl, who joined the team in 2019, as one of the main reasons.
“I think a year on he was been able to see I’ve put my money where my mouth was, so to speak, and the results were coming. He’s a huge Andreas fan, I think that had a big part in his decision making progress, as he says ‘Andreas is a monster’ and I think he means that in a good way… I think that’s ultimately why he made the decision this time around,” Brown said.