McLaren CEO Zak Brown says his team’s impressive resurgence during the 2019 Formula 1 season was “needed”.

After a disappointing 2018 campaign in which McLaren often had the second slowest car on the grid and finished sixth in the constructors’, the Woking squad recovered brilliantly to move up to fourth.

A new driver line-up consisting of Carlos Sainz and rookie Lando Norris, along with managerial and team personnel changes including the arrival of team principal Andreas Seidl and technical chief James Key boosted McLaren as it progressed up F1’s midfield pecking order to beat its engine suppliers Renault.

“It was a good season and it was what we needed,” Brown said when reflecting on McLaren’s 2019 achievements at Autosport International.

“Everyone did an excellent job - Carlos, Lando, the new team that we recruited led by Andreas Seidl, James Key and Andrea Stella, all the men and women have been working so hard and it was great to get a good result and to get back on the podium.”

McLaren has made further management changes heading into 2020, with Andrea Stella being promoted to racing director, in line with Seidl’s new three-pronged structure.

Brown believes getting the right people to fill the key areas, as well as avoiding a blame culture, was ultimately a big factor behind McLaren’s success last season.

“I think it’s all about people and as I tell the racing team, even though we’re developing technology, it’s people that are developing the technology,” he explained.

“You need really good teamwork and need everyone to be motivated and know what their roles and responsibilities are, make sure you give them the resources and support and guidance that they need.

“As I say at the factory, mistakes are OK, just don’t make the same one twice and don’t make stupid mistakes. It is around great people and I think that’s what we have.”

 

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