As McLaren celebrated its third-place finish in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Abu Dhabi last year, the doldrums of the Honda era seemed a distant memory.
But the seeds for such an impressive turnaround were sown many years ago as the Woking team grappled with change and difficult decisions, many of which were overseen by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
McLaren’s rebuild and revival was the subject of last week’s Autosport magazine cover feature, including a wide-ranging interview with Brown about the rebuild he has orchestrated.
Brown explained how McLaren had become “a bit Darth Vader” in its declining years and needed to become “more Luke Skywalker”, adopting a warmer, more open approach as an organisation.
Big calls such as ditching Honda’s works engine supply carried an element of risk, but the success that has followed acts as justification. With a Mercedes power unit deal arriving for 2021, along with established grand prix winner Daniel Ricciardo, the future is looking bright for McLaren.
In the latest edition of the Autosport Podcast, host Alex Kalinauckas is joined by F1 reporter Luke Smith and Autosport chief editor Kevin Turner to discuss McLaren’s revival, and consider its prospects for the future.
The panel also discuss the greatest 10 McLaren F1 cars selected by Kevin, with the all-conquering MP4/4 from 1988 controversially missing out on the number one spot.
You can listen to the podcast using the player below, or download via all good audio platforms including Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.