Norris delivered a stellar performance at Silverstone last weekend, courtesy of a significant upgrade package that was introduced in the last two races.
The young British driver managed to qualify on the front row and led the opening stages for a while before finishing in second place. He was just behind the race champion Max Verstappen and ahead of Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes.
McLaren’s remarkable progress has inspired rivals to also aim for significant improvements in performance through in-season car developments.
However, Norris is cautioning against reading too much into this performance at Silverstone. Despite the fact that the McLaren appeared to be performing better in the race than earlier in the season, he warned that the MCL-60 still lags behind competitors in some critical areas.
When F1 Flow.com inquired about the enhanced tyre management seen at Silverstone, Norris responded, “It certainly hasn’t been a constant feature of the car all season, with Bahrain being the polar opposite. These tracks let us take good care of the tyres. In high speeds, we’re extremely competitive, almost matching Red Bull’s performance. I’d even say we’re near the top in medium speeds like Turn 15 here at Stowe.
But in super high speeds like Turn 9 [Copse], we’re not quite as good. That said, we managed to maintain our performance in the race when others seemed to falter, allowing us to take care of the tyres well, particularly when there’s no thermal restriction within the tyre.”
Reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the McLaren vehicle, Norris said that one significant problem remained in slow turns, where Hamilton was able to exert some pressure.
“Our car does struggle, especially in the low-speed corners. It’s incredibly challenging to handle. I understand the enthusiasm, but we have some tracks coming up where people might wonder why our performance has dropped so suddenly.”
“We’ve made improvements in areas such as tyre degradation, among other minor tweaks. However, this track simply enabled us to manage the tyres well and maintain them in good condition.”
Norris further stressed that much of the performance was track-specific and urged not to get overly excited. He acknowledged the upgrades’ benefits but highlighted several areas where they still fell short in comparison to Mercedes and Red Bull.
Andrea Stella, the team boss, is eagerly anticipating the next race in Hungary, where the tight and twisty Hungaroring, known for its good weather, will surely bring the McLaren vehicle’s weaknesses to the fore.
“We’re looking forward to Hungary, to more fully determine where we stand. It’s a track dominated by low and medium speeds and can also present hot conditions, offering another test for us,” said Stella.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about McLaren F1 improvements
What recent performance improvements has McLaren seen in F1?
McLaren has seen significant improvements in their F1 performance, with Lando Norris delivering a standout performance at Silverstone. He qualified on the front row, briefly led the race, and finished in second place.
Is McLaren’s performance improvement consistent throughout the season?
Lando Norris urges caution and advises against reading too much into the Silverstone performance. While McLaren appeared better in race trim, Norris points out that the car still lags behind rivals, particularly in low-speed corners.
What areas does McLaren still struggle with?
McLaren faces challenges in low-speed corners, where the car’s performance is described as “pretty terrible” by Norris. He highlights that their progress in tyre management at Silverstone doesn’t fully reflect their overall competitiveness.
How does McLaren plan to assess their performance in the next race?
McLaren’s team boss, Andrea Stella, is looking forward to the next race in Hungary. The tight and twisty Hungaroring, with its low and medium-speed corners, will provide a comprehensive evaluation of McLaren’s performance and expose any remaining weaknesses.
More about McLaren F1 improvements
- McLaren.com – Official website of the McLaren Formula 1 team.
- F1.com – Official website of Formula 1, providing news and updates on the sport.
- F1 Flow.com – Source of the interview with Lando Norris mentioned in the text.
- Silverstone Circuit – Official website of the Silverstone Circuit, where the race took place.