After Vandoorne claim, McLaren admit 'trying to take the politics out' post-Alonso

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown admits a lack of politics was one motivation behind the Carlos Sainz/Lando Norris line-up in 2019.

His comments came in the wake of Stoffel Vandoorne's tell-all remarks at the Formula E season-opener last month where he claimed Fernando Alonso got everything he wanted at the British team and was regularly told to move over for the Spaniard.

Responding to the Belgian, however, Brown defended Alonso but acknowledged his retirement after 2018 provided an opportunity for McLaren.

“My experience with Fernando the entire time has been outstanding,” he told Channel 4. “He is a big personality, a big figure with a long history in the sport."

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However: "I do think, sometimes, that change brings a new energy. I think it was good [to do that] with two new drivers," the American noted.

“So we hit the reset button and it took a little bit of time for everyone to embrace all this change, but people operate at their highest level when they like what they are doing and it’s enjoyable.

“I’ve tried to take the politics out of the team.

“I want Carlos and Lando to be competitive with each other in a positive way and think we can achieve that. It’s what we are doing so far.”

Indeed, Sainz and Norris enjoy one of the best relationships between teammates on the grid with their banter together often documented on social media.

The change also brought results to McLaren as they clinched fourth in the Constructors' standings, 54 points ahead of fifth-placed Renault.