Formula 1: McLaren emerging as new long-term power?

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Formula 1 (Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images) /

McLaren could be the next Formula 1 team to become a long-standing power, similar to the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull in recent seasons.

McLaren had quite a phenomenal showing in the 10th race of the 2023 Formula 1 season this past weekend at Silverstone Circuit.

Their B-spec upgrades truly came to life for both of their drivers, as Lando Norris finished in a career-high-tying second place and Oscar Piastri finished in a career-high fourth. Norris had received these updates a week early and finished in fourth at the Red Bull Ring as well.

These upgrades stem from the new technical team that was put together after the departure of James Key a few months ago. The decision to have a team of specialists rather than just a single director has paid off for McLaren thus far. With that, McLaren’s new wind tunnel has and will continue to play a significant role in the car’s development.

Time spent developing the aerodynamic aspects of the car has proven to be key for plenty of the more successful Formula 1 teams in the past few years.

McLaren’s new wind tunnel, which only became operational just a few weeks ago, will be pivotal to the team’s long-term success. Having the right people develop the car has already made a big difference, with the team going from one of the slowest on the grid to the second fastest at Silverstone.

Additionally, another key aspect of being a long-term power is having drivers who are quite young and have good potential. McLaren are the only team on the grid who have that luxury, with Norris being 23 and Piastri being 22.

With two talented drivers, maintaining them beyond their current contracts will be very important for McLaren to have continued success. The prospects of Norris departing have grown this season after the frustrating woes to open the year.

The continued developments of the MCL60 and 2024 edition of the car will be a key selling point in an effort to convince the Brit to extend his contract beyond 2025.

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The turnaround we saw from the Woking-based team is only based on a small sample size of a couple races. Their consistency and performance moving forward will truly determine whether or not they can be one of the best teams and potentially compete for world championships for years to come.