McLaren aiming to 'annoy' top three teams more often from 2022

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McLaren hopes to start "annoying" Formula 1's top three teams when the new technical regulations are introduced in 2022.

The Woking-based outfit showed signs of their former selves last season by dominating the midfield to finish 'best of the rest' in the Constructors' standings.

However, that was only seen as a first step towards McLaren's main goal of once again challenging for wins and championships in F1.

And in the wake of new cost-saving measures being introduced due to the coronavirus, CEO Zak Brown believes his team could close the gap to the front sooner than expected.

“2022 is what I’m most excited about,” he told Autoweek.

“Not that I want to skip over 2021 — I’m very excited about those (races) — but I think ’22 is when I hope the conversation turns more to who’s going to be our biggest competitor next.

“And it’s not Racing Point, with all due respect, but it’s Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, because that’s when I’d like to start annoying them more often.”

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A key factor in how quickly McLaren can improve will be how seamlessly their change from Renault to Mercedes engines will be next year.

“So it’s gonna be a bit tricky for us, we’re the only one [changing engines],” Brown explained. “So the cars have been, for the most part, frozen.

“We’re going to have a token system for upgrades. You’re going to get a limited amount of upgrades.

“We’ve had to use some of those tokens to modify the chassis to install the engine, which is a bit of a bummer because the modifications aren’t necessarily for performance.

“That being said we think there’s performance to come just in the engine… there’s some risk there with an engine change that you have to get that right and there is a little less time for on-track development.”

One man confident in McLaren's future though in ex-F1 driver Timo Glock and he puts that down to one person.

“Everything that happened last year was created by [team boss] Andreas Seidl,” the German told the Starting Grid podcast.

“He just changed little things that had a big impact in my eyes. He did very, very well and made McLaren a top-five team again.

“I am sure that his work will bear even more fruit in the future," Glock added.

“With a good package, they will be able to work towards the top three – or to annoy the top three.”