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
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021