McLaren took a small step back in 2022, going from fourth place the year prior to fifth, swapping places with the ever impressive Alpine.
Part of the reason why the French team managed to get the better of McLaren was their driver line-up, with both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon regularly scoring a strong haul of points, while Lando Norris scored 122 points for McLaren compared to his teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s 37.
With the gap in performance obvious, McLaren decided that after two years with Daniel Ricciardo at the team, it was time for a change, opting to bring in rookie Oscar Piastri to replace the 33-year-old.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has now hinted that his team might have one of the strongest driver line-ups for next season, claiming that both of his drivers have potential in abundance.
“We think Oscar’s going to be a sensational racing driver,” said Brown.
“He’s won a lot of championships in his first year, which always tells you a driver’s special.”
As for Lando Norris, the American has suggested that the Brit continues to improve year after year.
“He just keeps getting better and better,” he said.
“If I look at when he started versus now, he’s got a very high level of confidence but not arrogance, and he’s definitely at one with the team in the racing car.”
McLaren will have to show significant improvement on and off the racetrack if they wish to keep the services of both their drivers for the foreseeable future, as Red Bull are already sniffing around Norris with the aim of a potential move when Sergio Perez’s contract expires.
The appointment of Piastri was only given the green light following a long and drawn out legal battle with Alpine, who believed that their young driver was contractually obliged to race for them in 2023, should they chose him as their replacement for the Aston Martin bound Fernando Alonso.
With a state of the art wind tunnel nearing competition, McLaren will be hoping that their fortunes on track improve in the near future, and that the team can get to being one of the front runners in Formula 1.