“They’re the quickest after Mercedes”: Brown admits McLaren will need to up its game

McLaren boss Zak Brown believes that his team will be involved in an intense and “ultra-tight” battle against its rivals in 2021.

Brown pointed to Sebastian Vettel joining as a big factor as far as Aston Martin is concerned. Vettel, a four-time world champion, has plenty to prove as he looks to restore his reputation.

Last year, Racing Point, as the team was called until Aston Martin came in, narrowly missed out on third spot in the constructors’ standings despite having a faster car than McLaren.

Brown admitted that Aston Martin would be a tough opponent to beat in the upcoming season.

“Given the car that they have – they’ve got the quickest car on the grid next to the Mercedes – I think they’ll be very tough [to beat],” he said.

“I think that whole group that we were fighting with last year, we’re going to pick up right where we left off in Abu Dhabi.

“Sebastian Vettel’s a four-time champion so, while he didn’t have a great year last year, I think he’ll be on his A-game and highly motivated so we’ve got to watch all of these guys,” Brown said.

McLaren driver Lando Norris reminded people that Ferrari cannot be taken lightly.

“Ferrari are Ferrari. They’re extremely strong and competitive, they’ve shown that through their whole period in Formula 1.

“There are going to be races where they are quicker than us, and hopefully more races where they are slower than us.

“But it’s not just them, it’s every competitor on the grid,” Norris said.

Ferrari had a disastrous campaign last season, but with a new power unit, they are expected to perform a lot better.

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