McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown has framed the issues that the team is going through with Honda as an integral part of motor racing.
No one is happy with the situation at the McLaren-Honda project. As more time passes without any concrete improvements the more disgruntled faces are noticeable from all members of the team – the stress has clearly begun to take its toll.
— F1Writers™ (@f1writers) April 23, 2017
Yet there are still a few remaining vestiges of patience at the upper ranks. Zak Brown, McLaren’s Executive Director has come forth once again to speak on the matter of the hobbled team, saying that while he appreciates the fans’ frustration, the team is doing all that it can to overcome its hurdles and secure a much sweeter victory for itself in the future:
“It’s frustrating but you know what? That’s motor racing. This has obviously been going on for a few years so that compounds the issue. We expect and anticipate early issues in any developmental relationship, I think that’s natural. I think we’re all surprised that we’ve taken a step backwards this year and that certainly increases the frustration as we were moving forward last year. But it is what it is.
It is frustrating for us because we live it, but we appreciate the fans frustration. We’ve got millions of supportive fans that understand – and then of course some people that don’t understand. I don’t expect them to understand, but I would ask for their patience not to expect dramatic changes race-by-race, but we’ll get there. We talk internally and when we do, victory is going to feel and taste all that much better.” – Zak Brown
Brown’s admittance and subsequent call for hunkering down in the face of such challenges is admirable, but similarly smells a bit of executive damage control. Who can blame him? After McLaren’s star driver, Fernando Alonso, publicly denounced the poor performance of the team two times in a row, the state of things are approaching a fever pitch if results don’t start to show soon.
When Brown was first appointed into his new role, being dubbed as a media guru by several outlets, we were getting ready for spin and some avoidance from answering he big questions, but the way in which he has dealt with the situation, and the openness he has showed in answering the hard questions from the media has been very refreshing. There’s no hiding from the current problems at McLaren. The good days the team had in testing do show a bit more promise than the last time they were testing the MCL32. It’s a long season, if they can retain reliability in the sessions that count and then use that base as a means to find some power, Alonso is tenacious enough to drag the car into the points, and they could save the season in terms of finishing somewhere similar to last season. It’s not what anyone at McLaren expects, but avoiding finishing at the bottom of the pile must be avoided so the McLaren name isn’t dragged through the F1 mud any more.