UNITED KINGDOM: The McLaren F1 Team, once a dominant force in Formula 1, has been striving to recapture its former glory after years of struggles. However, with recent new hires and a major restructuring, rising star Oscar Piastri believes the team is on the right path towards success again.
The Woking outfit’s last taste of victory came in 2021, only to see the departure of the driver they had paid to bring in just a season later.
Twenty-five years have passed since McLaren won their last Constructors’ Championship, and Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 title triumph marked their most recent championship success.
Although McLaren seemed to be on an upward trajectory after recovering from the dark days of the mid-2010s, the new regulations’ introduction in 2022 sent them back to earth.
The team narrowly lost fourth place to Alpine, and achieving a high position in 2023 appears daunting. As McLaren finds itself in a transitional phase during its 60-year existence, the team has made significant changes behind the scenes.
The restructuring includes a new technical team and staff recruited from renowned teams like Ferrari and Red Bull. Perhaps these changes fuel Oscar Piastri’s belief in McLaren’s potential revival. Piastri, a rookie in Formula 1, emphasized the unseen alterations occurring within the team.
These include adjustments to the car, personnel changes, and the imminent use of a new simulator and wind tunnel. The Australian driver expressed optimism, stating that these changes hold great promise for the team’s future performance.
McLaren has also undergone a substantial restructuring, spearheaded by Rob Marshall from Red Bull. Piastri believes that the team’s new structure, implemented by Andrea Stella, will allow them to maximize the talent they already possess.
The driver expressed his confidence in the ongoing transformations at McLaren, acknowledging the exciting developments happening within the team.
Piastri acknowledges that more time is needed for these changes to yield results, but he is confident that McLaren is heading in the right direction.
However, McLaren faces challenging odds, including their status as one of only four customer teams starting in 2026. Moreover, there are rumours surrounding the future of Lando Norris, whose contract expires at the end of 2025.
Nonetheless, Piastri believes that the experience and expertise of team principal Andrea Stella will play a crucial role in overcoming these challenges.
Piastri recognizes the significance of having a competitive car, acknowledging that even the best driver cannot succeed without a capable machine. However, he firmly believes that McLaren possesses the potential to deliver a competitive car.
With Stella’s vast experience working with championship-winning teams such as Ferrari and alongside drivers like Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, Piastri is impressed by his ability to motivate the team and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
The young driver emphasizes that McLaren needs more time to close the gap but expresses confidence in the team’s underlying structure and dedication to improvement.
Piastri remains uncertain about the necessity of new regulations, pointing out that after the much-anticipated changes in 2022, most teams, except for Mercedes, remained relatively stagnant.