McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown appears to have bought himself at least five years at the helm of McLaren, after delivering a plan to team owners aimed at lifting the once mighty team back to the top step of the Formula 1 podium.
McLaren, the second most successful team (behind Ferrari) in Formula 1, has not tasted winner’s champagne since Jenson Button’s victory at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Honda partnership failure and the disappointing advent of Renault power are well documented.
Brown, the man at the helm of the new journey, revealed in an interview with Racer, “I have presented a five-year plan and within that plan, we think we have a journey to get back to winning races, and then once you’re winning races, you’re competing for the championship.”
“I think it’s critical that Liberty makes changes to the sport because right now, the way the sport is going, it’s difficult for more than two or three teams to compete for the championship, so I think there are things that are out of our control, but hopefully we can influence that need to change for multiple teams to be able to win races and compete for the championship.”
“We have laid out a journey and investment, a road to recovery that sees us getting back to the front of the grid in that timeline.”
With apparently little to show for his time in the McLaren hot seat, Brown clearly has the support of the team’s owners which include Bahrain’s royal investment corporation Mumtalakat, Mansour Ojjeh’s TAG Group and recent investor, Canadian billionaire Michael Latifi.
Brown is sure that McLaren’s bigwigs have bought into his vision, “I think from a time standpoint, clearly we need to show progress. The shareholders are extremely committed. We’re hiring, so they’re investing in the racing team, and I think anyone who invests wants to see a return and progress.”
“So there’s not a specific timetable in that X has to be achieved by Y date. I think what they want to see as we all want to see is us moving forward, but there’s no specific timeline on that,” added Brown.
Big Question: Is Zak the man to lead McLaren’s revival?