Formula 1: McLaren expect to enjoy ‘biggest difference in grid position’ in 2018

McLaren believe they will make the biggest step forward of all teams in Formula 1 this season.

The team have not won a race since the end of 2012 but are hopeful of a strong season after swapping their under-performing Honda engines for Renault.

McLaren executive director Zak Brown said: “We should be the team that has the biggest difference in grid position from last year to this year.

“Everyone, including ourselves, is eager to see what that looks like.”

Brown said McLaren’s aim for 2018 was “being competitive – that is racing at the front, qualifying at the front, getting on the podium”.

After three years of being Honda’s sole partner but suffering from the engine’s lack of performance, McLaren dropped the Japanese company and are now one of three teams with Renault engines.

But Brown said he was not nervous about being compared with Red Bull, who won three races last year, and the French manufacturer’s improving factory team.

“If we’re 0.9 seconds off Red Bull, that won’t look good, I agree,” Brown said. “We don’t want to hide. It’s showtime.

“The beautiful thing about motor racing is hundreds of millions of people get to see how you do. That’s part of the adrenalin.

“We are looking forward to that. This team has won the second most amount of championships and they welcome and are excited about the pressure of having the spotlight on us. We will only want to hide if we are 0.9 seconds off Red Bull.”

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