McLaren CEO Zak Brown concedes reliability has proven to be the team’s “weak spot” during the 2019 Formula 1 season. 

McLaren has boasted the fourth-fastest car in recent months and is on course to beat Renault to fourth spot in the 2019 constructors’ championship, despite a troubled start to the season and reliability problems costing the team a large amount of points. 

A double technical failure at the Belgian Grand Prix - including a last-lap retirement for fifth-placed Lando Norris - was the most notable incident, while the Briton’s race in Mexico was ruined by an issue during his pit stop. 

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the Woking squad is already look at new solutions in a bid to improve its pit stop reliability over the winter. 

“Our pit stops, we were seventh, eighth best pit stops last year, this year we’re kind of sitting around third,” Brown said. 

“Launches, we were floating around first, second best, we were sixth, seventh best. 

“If you look at the race team fitness if you want to call it that, you see a clear moving forward of not just a better race car and drivers doing really well, but pit stops are getting better, launches are getting better, and then we need to work on reliability. 

“That has probably been our weak spot this year.”

Reliability gremlins aside, Brown is pleased with McLaren’s progress over the past 12 months, and is particularly happy with the performances of drivers Norris and Carlos Sainz

“I’m very pleased with both drivers, I think everyone is impressed with how they have raced,” Brown added. 

“Lando in particular has not made the probably level of rookie mistakes that you would expect. 

“If you look at Leclerc, his first year, he’s had one incident in Spain, which was kind of a racing incident, so he’s driven extremely maturely, which I think is very impressive for a driver of his age. 

“He’s been very fast, the drivers are I think 9-9 in qualifying, which is exactly what you want. 

“Make no mistake about it, while they get on very well, they’re extremely competitive with each other, but in a very healthy way, so I’m really pleased with our driver line-up and their pace.” 

 

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