It’s all change at McLaren. After a tough 2018 campaign, a new-look driver line up and a recently-appointed Managing Director represents a fresh start for the iconic British squad. And although McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown isn't getting carried away just yet, despite the positive atmosphere at their Woking base, he revealed that Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are both ‘anticipating a good car’ for 2019.
McLaren also went into last term full of optimism, having ended their partnership with Honda and switched to Renault engines, but after a promising start to the season, it didn’t pan out as expected, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne struggling to get the best out of the MCL33.
Alonso and Vandoorne have both moved on to pastures new this year, with Sainz and Norris replacing them, while a leadership reshuffle was confirmed last week with the news that former Porsche LMP1 boss Andreas Seidl will take responsibility for all aspects of the team’s F1 racing programme.
And speaking at the Autosport International Show last weekend, Brown admitted that the early signs suggest the future is looking bright for team, with both drivers seemingly impressed with what they have seen at the factory.
“They are obviously anticipating a good car,” said Brown. "We are anticipating a good car. The off-season development has gone according to plan.
“But ultimately you obviously don’t know what the competition has been up to, the competition is tough and getting tougher. We want and need good feedback from them (Sainz and Norris).”
In former Renault driver Sainz and rookie Norris, McLaren have one of the youngest line-ups on the 2019 grid – and Brown expects the racers to push each other to their limits.