McLaren boss mocks Red Bull and Max Verstappen

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has revealed how the team managed to afford its impressive upgrade package.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has joked that the first thing they did to help keep them under the cost cap was slash their catering budget; a tongue-in-cheek reference to Red Bull partially blaming catering expenses for their 2021 overspend. 

The Milton Keynes-based outfit faced a $7 million fine and a 10% reduction in wind tunnel time for the 2023 season after being found guilty of breaking the cap.

As the results for this year’s cost cap are expected to be released towards the end of the season, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has warned that as many as six teams may have violated the rules in 2022.

Speaking to the media at the British Grand Prix, Zak Brown confirmed the areas in which McLaren has cut back to meet the requirements of the regulations.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“The first thing we did was we reduced our catering bill! We had some inefficiencies in our spending,” he said.

“We weren’t operating our own wind tunnel; we were renting the wind tunnels, so that comes at a higher cost. 

“If you’re just paying operational expenses for your own,” Brown revealed.

While acknowledging the tough decisions the team had to make, Brown also hinted at the positive impact of new technologies on their financial efficiency: “We’ve had to make some tough decisions, but also with some of our new technologies coming online, they’re actually financially more efficient, and so we’re able to redirect some of that inefficient spend into additional headcount.”

Article continues below

The improvements made by the team at Woking have been evident, with significant upgrades propelling their car up the F1 grid and putting them in contention for consistent podium finishes. 

After Sunday’s race, Brown appeared optimistic about the team’s performance and the competition in the championship.

“Max is getting less further ahead in these last couple of races,” Brown said.

“I think it shows just how healthy the sport is, how great the competition is. 

READ: Lewis Hamilton reveals overtake button failed to help him pass Lando Norris

“If we can all get a hold of Max, then I think the racing is going to be fantastic. 

“It is fantastic,” he added

Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix, Brown highlighted that the aerodynamically advanced McLaren should fare well on the high-speed circuit. 

While they may not have been able to challenge Red Bull at Silverstone, Brown suggested not to underestimate McLaren’s potential fight at Budapest in just two weeks’ time.