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McLaren outperformed Honda in 2017

McLaren boss Zak Brown says that the chassis development last season was better than the engine’s from their former supplier Honda.

Last season, we saw a new era of aero related changes in the sport, which resulted in wider, more aggressive cars. McLaren was indeed one team with expectations, but Honda’s performance was not what they wanted. Lack of power and poor reliability made the car really slow and uncompetitive.

But until the end of the season, McLaren’s Brown believes that they developed their car better than Honda developed their engine.

Morale never got low. The unbelievable thing about this place is, when you walk the halls, this is a team that has won 20 world championships and everyone is very proud. I’ve never been to a place where for so many people their life is McLaren or they wanted to work at McLaren their whole life. They never gave up. The amount of development. The car got quicker over the year, and that was more car than anything. The engine got better too but we raced like we were racing for a world championship. That was the mindset and we never gave up. So morale was always good, but there wasn’t much excitement because there was nothing to get excited about. So excitement levels were low because it was we’ve got to go and race again next year next weekend and we know what the result’s going to be. It’s going to be a degree of: ‘How bad is the weekend going to be? How many penalties are we going to get? So morale was up, desire to get back to our winning ways is off the chart. It’s really made everyone more hungry and I think that’s a good place for the organization to be. A really hungry McLaren, that’s a good thing.

The Woking based squad has a lot to prove in 2018 with the new Renault supply engine and Brown is very optimistic for the new season.

Energy, enthusiasm, excitement are kind of at an all-time high, certainly within the last five years. Morale’s great, people are working hard, we’re excited. We’ve got a new livery coming, we’ve got a new garage coming, we’ve got a new engine coming, we’ve got the two drivers we wanted. Everyone’s working well together. Eric [Boullier] is happy with everything that he has. I asked him the other day ‘Anything else you need?’ ‘Nope, I got what I need.’ So everyone is excited and the anticipation is building. I wish Australia was tomorrow.