Zak Brown is not certain where McLaren will be in the pack at the start of F1 2023 after not meeting the development targets.

Even though McLaren noted about not being their with the MCL60 during their launch, but they had hopes of improvements still from last year for the first race of F1 2023. With a day and a half done in Bahrain pre-season test, they are not there still.

McLaren boss Brown had admitted that they haven’t met the development targets which they hoped for the MCL60 from MCL36. There were some front-end issues for Lando Norris on Day 1 with the team working on the wheels which he termed as teething issues.

“We had some teething problems yesterday,” said Brown in the press conference. “We had Oscar doing most of the heavy lifting in the morning, getting the car dialled in. Nothing alarming, just the usual testing bugs. Today Lando was focussed on longer runs, so we’re still understanding the car and have a lot more testing ahead of us – relatively speaking, another day and a half – and then we’ll get to work on race set-up.”

Brown recalled the situation last year with the problems McLaren is facing currently. Te American noted how it stopped their development last year which forced them to compete in Bahrain at ‘sub-optimal’ level. This is why he wants them to have a trouble-free run for remainder of the test.

“Last year with our brake issue it stopped the development of some other items we were working on to make sure we fixed the problem,” said Brown. ”Then we came into Bahrain sub-optimal from a performance standpoint, just to make sure we got through the race. I’m very proud about how quickly the team did react because we had about a week to solve a problem. But I think that did hurt us at the start of the year so it’s important that we have a normal test session to start the season.”

While the reliability after Day 1 has been a bit better, Brown is open to admit the shortcomings as noted above. They haven’t hit the development targets in the test, which is why he is not sure where McLaren will be in the standings next week.

“It is hard to know until we get going,” started Brown. ”We know we set some goals for development which we didn’t hit and we felt it was better to be honest about that. We, like everyone, have a lot of development coming, so we are encouraged what we see around the corner. But I think we will be going into the the first race off of our projected targets and it’s hard to really know where that means we’ll be on the grid.”

Here’s Zak Brown on new F1 teams

Here’s Andrea Stella on learning from other bosses

Here’s Mark Webber explaining Oscar Piastri situation