Feb.27 (GMM) McLaren has played down claims it may struggle to keep up with F1’s bigger-spending teams in 2017.
Given the major regulations change, the pace of car development will be particularly fast and crucial this year.
So when asked if the former grandee McLaren has enough money to keep up, new executive Zak Brown is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport: “Our budget is big enough.”
However, it is notable that as McLaren switched from dark grey to orange and black for 2017, the move has not accompanied an influx of sponsors.
Team boss Eric Boullier insists: “Don’t forget that McLaren is made up of many successful companies.
“We do not have as much money as Mercedes or Red Bull, but we have enough to win races.”
And aerodynamic boss Peter Prodromou indicated that McLaren also has a big enough budget to be right on song with the latest technical developments — like the Mercedes ‘T-wing’.
“We are also working on a similar solution,” he said.
A lot will depend on Honda, and whether McLaren’s Japanese engine supplier can get much closer to the top engines.
F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa, for instance, sounded alarmed amid reports Mercedes is set to take another big step forward in 2017.
“We have made progress but we’re not yet on Mercedes’ level,” he said. “The plan is to finish the season (right) behind Mercedes.”
As for the car, Prodromou admits that the Mercedes is also particularly impressive.
“The Mercedes has made the biggest impression on me so far,” he said. “The detail and the amount of work on it stands out from the crowd.”