McLaren’s 2024 F1 preparations are on track, with Principal Andrea Stella expressing confidence in maintaining last year’s performance gains. The team, securing fourth place after a slow start in the previous season, sees drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri challenging the dominant Red Bulls.
Significant enhancements, including a new wind tunnel and racecar simulator at the Woking factory, showcase McLaren’s commitment. Technical experts Rob Marshall and David Sanchez joining from Red Bull and Ferrari contribute to the team’s senior roles. Stella acknowledges the Formula One sense of last-minute pushes, but the overall preparation aligns with plans.
The upcoming season, starting in Bahrain on March 2, anticipates Red Bull as clear favorites with Max Verstappen pursuing his fourth consecutive world championship. Stella cautions that McLaren’s progress hinges on Red Bull’s improvements after their dominant previous season.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown recognizes the potential challenge posed by Red Bull and emphasizes the importance of continuous performance development. Stella expresses optimism about narrowing the gap with consistent efforts.
As 24-year-old Norris enters his sixth season, McLaren envisions a breakthrough win. Stella looks forward to the prospect, emphasizing the team’s readiness to deliver a competitive car for Norris to seize opportunities.
In terms of long-term planning, McLaren aims to retain Norris and Piastri as their driver pairing. Brown acknowledges ongoing dialogue with Norris, highlighting the team’s focus on creating an appealing environment for drivers. Despite external interest, McLaren prioritizes retaining both drivers beyond 2026.
Stella values the synergy between Norris and Piastri, emphasizing their complementary traits from a driving and technical standpoint. With Norris holding the record for the most podiums without a win, the team sees potential in his unexplored capabilities, expressing confidence in the drivers’ contributions to McLaren’s success.