McLaren keeping 2024 F1 title goal despite recent success

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McLaren is sticking to the goal of fighting for the Formula 1 championship in 2024 despite recent successes.

After being without a win and a pole position since Brazil 2012, the Woking-based team achieved both within two races, finishing one-two with Daniel Ricciardo winning at Monza before Lando Norris took pole in Sochi.

McLaren has also had the pace to win the past two races, with Lando only being denied his first F1 victory in Russia by the rain in the closing laps.

Even so, team boss Andreas Seidl denies the team are now on the level of Mercedes and Red Bull.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but the direction is the right one," he said.

"The team is doing sensational work with sensational spirit as well, and it’s great to see that it’s step-by-step paying off.

"At the same time, no reason to get carried away," the German added. "Compared to the teams that are ahead of us in the championship, we still have deficits, I would say, in all areas.

“That is why it is important after a weekend like Monza, for example, or after the pole position in Russia, that the first thing you have to do is analyse what you could have done better because there is always something you can do better.

“The moment you are satisfied with what you have achieved is the start of the decline so that is how we approach it.”

Like all teams, McLaren is hoping the introduction of all-new cars in 2022 can shake up the competitive order, allowing them to fight at the front.

Even so, Seidl doesn't think that will be immediate.

“Of course when there’s a new regulation, there’s a sort of opportunity for everybody," he said.

“At the same time, there’s a reason why Mercedes and Red Bull are ahead of everyone right now: they do better work, they are better teams, so they have an advantage thanks also to the facilities they have.

“They have bigger teams, and they’ll bring that also in the next year with the new regulations.

“So for sure it’s an important task, the development is still going on and we’ll have to get off the right foot.

“At the same time, we have to think of the team that goes on track, think of our facilities and try to handle the budget cap that will spread in the next few years.

“We have to keep improving as a team and try to do a better job in the next few years and then I think in some years we can be back in front.”

In terms of when McLaren could look to end their current 13-year title drought, CEO Zak Brown explained...

"I think it’s always dangerous to pick a point in time in which you should be going for it. What I will say is we will have caught up by 2024 with all of our infrastructure, most specifically the wind tunnel," he said.

"I think we’ll have no excuses come the 2024 season, and would like to think that by that point, the sport is going to be so competitive that there’ll be a variety of teams fighting for the championship, and I like to think we’d be one of them."