Being closer to first position and closer to Mercedes are McLaren's two key aims for the 2023 F1 season, according to CEO Zak Brown.
Red Bull won that title in 2022 with 17 grand prix victories along the way, breaking an eight-year streak for Mercedes, which ended up third but 342 points up on Alpine.
Asked on the KTM Summer Grill what success for his team looks like in 2023, Brown said, “I think, closing the gap to the front of the field.
“We kind of have two data points that we pay most attention to. One is, how close are we to the team that's winning?
“If that team is not Mercedes, our other data point – given what a great team Mercedes is, and we share the same engine – is, how close are we to Mercedes?
“So, those are our two primary data points from a competitive standpoint, and we want to be closer to them [in 2023] than we were [in 2022].
“Beyond that, it's hard to set a very specific number to that.
“Of course, we'd like to get back up to at least fourth in the championship, but I think we're going to need a little bit more of our technology in place to really be able to break into the top three.”
The latter will embark on his rookie F1 campaign as a replacement for fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo, whose disappointing two-year stint with the squad was labelled “a great mystery” by Brown.