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McLaren not setting "dangerous" expectations for 2018 season

Written by  Jan 10, 2018

McLaren executive director Zak Brown admits it would be "dangerous" to set specific expectations for the 2018 Formula 1 season.

There is a lot of anticipation surrounding the British team this year after bringing to an end a difficult three-year partnership with Honda and switching to the same Renault engines which have won races in the back of the Red Bull.

McLaren has also often claimed they have a chassis which is capable of competing with the best on the grid but Brown is trying to be more measured in his approach.

"We are one of the big teams, we need to get back to the front," he told Sky Sports. "We haven't, and certainly won't publicly, set any expectations because that's dangerous, [but] we expect to be challenging towards the front."

There's also excitement the Renault switch could bring Fernando Alonso back into the championship picture against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, but the American entrepreneur thinks the Spaniard faces strong competition from within his own team.

"We think we'll have a competitive race car so I think you're going to see Fernando and Stoffel [Vandoorne] racing each other hard – which will be exciting as long as they don't take each other off!" he said.

"Hopefully, we're fighting for podiums and I hope that's the top step."

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To do so, however, would mean closing the significant margin to F1's 'top three', who were often in a different race in 2017.

"Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are awesome teams that have significant budgets," Brown acknowledged.

"So we're going to chase them hard and hope that we're spraying some champagne."

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