Zak Brown voices ‘scary warning’ about Red Bull – As the 2023 Formula One season unfolds, it has become increasingly clear that Red Bull Racing is operating at a different level of excellence. With 15 out of 16 wins and Max Verstappen’s relentless pursuit of a third consecutive drivers’ title, the reigning world champions have stamped their authority on the sport.
But McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes it’s not just Red Bull’s current supremacy that’s truly “scary”, but the potential they could unleash in the upcoming 2024 season. In a candid conversation with Sky, Brown expressed his concerns about the year ahead.
Red Bull: A force to be reckoned with
Red Bull’s dominance of the 2023 season has been nothing short of remarkable. Their exceptional on-track performance has left their rivals in awe and anticipation of what’s to come. While McLaren and other teams are still in the hunt, Brown admits that Red Bull’s focus is likely to have shifted to developing their 2024 challenger.
Brown speculates that, given their overwhelming success this year, Red Bull may have curtailed development of their current car earlier than other teams in order to allocate resources to next season’s car. This calculated move has left the competition trembling at the prospect of what Red Bull might unleash in 2024.
“I would imagine given Red Bull’s dominance, they turned off their development quicker than others to focus on next year’s car. So that’s a bit scary what might be coming,” Brown told Sky.
“The rest of us are still chasing, but the rules are pretty stable. So I think everything we’re learning now will apply to next year’s car,” said Brown.
Encouraging signs for McLaren
McLaren, a team with a rich history in F1, have shown signs of resurgence in recent years. Lando Norris, their talented driver, brought hope to the McLaren camp after finishing second in Singapore. As the weekend of the Japanese Grand Prix got underway, Norris’ performance in Friday’s practice session, where he was third fastest, added to the optimism.
Brown believes McLaren will be competitive at Suzuka and hopes to challenge Red Bull’s dominance. However, he admits it won’t be an easy task. “Max is back at the front, so it was fun while it lasted,” quipped Brown.
Norris: A realistic assessment
Lando Norris, McLaren’s rising star, takes a pragmatic view. He acknowledges the “normal Red Bull” at the moment, but remains hopeful about McLaren’s performance. Norris highlights McLaren’s potential to close the gap as they fine-tune their strategies.
While challenging Red Bull for pole position may be a lofty goal, Norris envisages a battle with the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin. He is well aware that the pursuit of victory in Formula One requires constant improvement, precision and adaptability, especially when up against a dominant force like Red Bull.
“The Red Bull is just doing normal Red Bull at the minute, but I think we’re not far away,” he said.
“I would say we normally get a bit closer come lower fuel, turn the engines up, things like that. I think challenging for pole is probably quite a big ask and probably a bit too far.
“But to try and challenge Mercedes, they maybe didn’t look quite so good today, challenging the Ferraris and Astons, I think that’s going to be our battle for tomorrow.”
As the Japanese Grand Prix and the 2023 season unfold, F1 fans are eagerly anticipating the showdowns and surprises that lie ahead. Red Bull’s dominance may be unsettling, but it also adds an extra layer of intrigue to the sport as teams like McLaren strive to overcome the odds and redefine the narrative on the track.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 22, 2023
MORE F1 NEWS: Red Bull push for Ricciardo
Liam Lawson would not be happy to return to F1 as a reserve driver in 2024 but he might need to wait his turn as rumours suggest Red Bull are keen to see Daniel Ricciardo back in a Formula 1 race seat as soon as possible, despite replacement rookie Liam Lawson impressing with his stand in races covering the injured Australian.
Having experienced the joys of being a Formula 1 driver, New Zealander Liam Lawson admits that he would find it very difficult…… READ MORE ON THIS STORY