McLaren: Racing Point can't become champions by copying Mercedes

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown says a team like Racing Point will never win in Formula 1 by copying Mercedes.

During winter testing, the Silverstone-based outfit earned the nickname 'Tracing Point' after revealing a 2020 car which looks almost identical to last year's championship-winning W10.

And while its performance in Barcelona has led many to believe they'll be fighting with the likes of McLaren for 'best of the rest' in the midfield, Brown doesn't see their design strategy as a way to fight higher up the grid.

“The Racing Point is, of course, a good car, but that makes sense because it is the Mercedes of last year,” he was quoted by GPBlog.

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“It all depends on what your ambitions are. If you want to be at the top of midfield quickly, it is, of course, a smart way, but if you want to become champion like us, then you have to do something else.

“If you keep copying Mercedes you are lagging behind.

“We want to be better than Mercedes and for that, we have to keep improving ourselves.”

Despite the McLaren boss' claim, however, Ferrari has even suggested Racing Point could pose a threat in the early races, though technical chief Andrew Green isn't getting carried away.

“Let’s see,” he told Motorsport. “We’re just trying to get the best we can out of the package we’ve got and then I think we’ll see where we are in the first few races. It’s very promising, that is for sure.

“I’d be lying if I said we weren’t happy with where we are. We are happy with where we are.

“The level of performance that we see from the car, it’s sort of as we expected after we got the data out of the tunnel and put it in the simulator.

“The drivers drove the car a couple weeks ago and they were massively enthusiastic about it. So they were prepared for what was to come.

“We were just unsure whether we were going to realize the full potential of what we’ve seen in the simulation work.

“Everything that we see so far suggests that we have transferred across from the model side to the full side.”

Based on testing, however, it does seem the gap between the top teams and the midfield is reducing and that is something McLaren's Carlos Sainz was keen to see.

“What I really hope is all of us feels closer to the top then we were last year, that would be my biggest wish, independent of the position," the Spaniard told FormulaSpy.

"I wish the midfield this year is close enough to either not get lapped at every race or to make sure the leaders, on lap one, they don’t feel that we don’t even try to fight them, that would be my biggest thing."