Brown: Third in F1 constructors' standings more about prestige than money

McLaren Formula 1 team chairman Zak Brown insists that the team's jump to third place in the world championship is more about prestige than any financial benefit

Brown: Third in F1 constructors' standings more about prestige than money

The team pipped rivals Racing Point to third spot at the season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend, with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr finishing fifth and sixth.

The jump from third to fourth represents a significant step in the team's share of the F1 prize fund, and may also have triggered sponsor bonuses, as contracts often specify extra payments based on championship performance.

The result came on the same day that McLaren announced significant new investment from a US consortium, however Brown insisted it wasn't about the finances.

"It's sporting prestige," Brown told Autosport. "The money's obviously nice, but when you're on the pit wall, you're thinking about it purely from the sporting standpoint. And then you get to the office on Monday, and you think about the financial side.

"The team's done an unbelievable job to do everything we've been through this year, bringing on a new investor at the weekend, and then clinching third in the championship when we had a very good car, but clearly last year's Mercedes is faster!

"Couldn't have wrote it better. But it's so tight, we could have been fifth this weekend and have a totally different conversation."

Brown says improving on this year's third place and closing the gap to Mercedes and Red Bull in 2021 will be a much tougher challenge.

The American also expects to see a resurgence from Ferrari after the Italian team faded to sixth place in the constructors' table this season.

"I think it will be harder," he said. "I think we've got to keep our feet on the ground. You've got to expect Ferrari to come back strong next year. We know they're gonna have two very strong drivers, in Carlos [Sainz] and Charles [Leclerc].

"I think you've got to assume they're gonna be right back where we expected them to be this year. So I think it's gonna get real tough from here on out.

"We've got everything we need now, especially with our new investors. Andreas [Seidl, McLaren team principal] has done an outstanding job. I think we're just getting started, but it's gonna get harder."

Brown said the well-matched driver pairing of Norris and Sainz was key to McLaren's resurgence, and gave the team an edge over Renault and Racing Point.

"If you look, [Esteban] Ocon came on strong at the end, but Daniel [Ricciardo] carried the team there," he said.

"And then Sergio [Perez] is at a whole other level. And he carried the team there. So I think we've benefited from having two very strong drivers, as opposed to one."

shares
comments
Vettel explains Ferrari farewell song in Abu Dhabi GP

Previous article

Vettel explains Ferrari farewell song in Abu Dhabi GP

Next article

Red Bull hopeful of keeping Honda F1 power units after engine freeze talks

Red Bull hopeful of keeping Honda F1 power units after engine freeze talks
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021