Ross Brawn thinks that McLaren could compete with Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen next season. The former sporting director of Formula 1 saw McLaren make significant progress during the year under the leadership of new team boss Andrea Stella and according to the 68-year-old Briton, McLaren could well join Red Bull in 2024.
The McLaren team had an extremely difficult start to 2023. After eight races, Lando Norris and debutant Oscar Piastri managed to collect only seventeen points. A significant upgrade package was necessary and this package was therefore available in Austria. The updates almost immediately made McLaren a top team again and since then, Norris in particular has proven to be one of Verstappen’s biggest challengers during the races.
However, McLaren has not yet achieved a victory, apart from Piastri’s sprint victory in Qatar. According to Brawn, that could change next season. The Brit saw McLaren make enormous strides during the season and the team could reap the benefits next season. “They clearly have a much better organization now,” Brawn told Reuters. ‘Hats off to Andrea (Stella, ed.). He was one of my engineers at Ferrari.’
Real threat to Red Bull
McLaren seems to be closing the gap to Red Bull further and further. In Brazil, Norris even tried to compete with Verstappen, but the Dutchman turned out to be a size too big for the Brit. However, the difference was not particularly large at eight seconds. Brawn strongly believes that McLaren will be a formidable opponent for Red Bull next season. “I’m very happy with how well he (Stella, ed.) is doing,” says Brawn. ‘He seems to have made McLaren a much stronger team, so I think they can be a real threat next season. They also have fantastic drivers, who push each other very hard,” said Brawn.