Brown believes his team and Ferrari have a stronger driver line-up which could hand the teams the edge over Aston Martin and Renault.
Zak Brown has continued his feud with the Racing Point team as 2020 comes to close in an interview with Motorsport-Total.com where he described the new pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll at the British team not as strong as the driver pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at McLaren.
“Sergio [Perez] was on a completely different level and carried the team. We benefited from the fact that we had two strong drivers – not just one,” said the McLaren boss.
The McLaren boss also was pessimistic about the chances of Renault noting that Esteban Ocon was handily defeated by Riccardo who scored just 62 points to Riccardo’s 119.
“Renault scored so many points, for example, only thanks to Daniel Ricciardo. “[Esteban] Ocon was strong in the end, but Daniel carried the team,” Brown says.
He also stated that Ferrari will be back to the top thanks to its strong driver line-up which includes McLaren’s outgoing driver Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc.
“We know that they will have two very strong drivers with Carlos and Charles [Leclerc]. It must therefore be assumed that they will be back where we expected them this year. It will therefore be very difficult for us,” believed the McLaren Managing Director.
Brown could have a point here as Vettel has had questionable form in the last two years and the 2020 season was his worst season in his F1 career. Stroll often gets bandied as a pay driver because his father Lawrence Stroll owns the team.
Ocon will likely be massively outperformed by Fernando Alonso who makes his return to F1 in 2021 and is arguably the best driver of the last two decades with him being responsible for bringing an end to Michael Schumacher’s at the top of F1.
Ferrari could be a force to reckon with as its team principal Mattia Binotto has said that its new engine is working well in the dyno tests. Ferrari may not have the best engine but Binotto has said that it will certainly not be the worst one.
Ferrari has also shown great reliability with its engines being the most reliable in the 2020 season. Its new team pairing could unlock more performance alongside its redesigned diffuser which is said to reduce the drag that has plagued its 2020 car.
McLaren could also be more competitive as it will now have Mercedes engines which are likely to unlock more performance from the package, especially in power-hungry tracks. Ricciardo’s presence could also yield better results as he is considered to be one of the best drivers on the grid and perhaps the best overtaker of all the drivers in the current crop.