Norris: We don’t expect to finish in the top ten

In Barcelona, ​​the McLaren drivers did not earn any points, although they showed impressive results in qualifying – Lando Norris started from 3rd position and it could be assumed that the team made a noticeable step forward, but at the Spanish Grand Prix it turned out that this was not the case.

However, things didn’t go well for Lando from the start as in turn 2 he broke the front wing of his car on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and had to go straight to the pits for a new nose cone. He finished 17th.

But according to Norris, he probably still didn’t have much of a chance to earn points, even though he had managed to avoid problems at the start of the race. This is partly confirmed by the 13th result of Oscar Piastri, his partner, although he was 10th in qualifying.

“The whole point is that we are slow and have been since the beginning of the season,” said the Briton of the sad results of the race. “There is nothing more to add to this. In qualifying the car was exactly the same but Saturday was a special day as some of the good teams struggled and some of the stragglers coped better with the task.

It was just a weird day where a lot of people made mistakes and we took advantage of that. We foresaw that we were going to have a tough race as we are certainly not as fast as Alpine, Aston Martin and generally all the top five teams, so there is no point in counting on points.

We have said a hundred times that the novelties presented in Baku are just another direction in the work on soil modernization, another ideology, but did not promise that they would significantly increase the speed. We may have added half a tenth or a tenth at the most, but many teams have prepared new items for all the last races, but not us.

We do our best to earn points and if we succeed, we consider it a very successful day. But for now the situation is such that we don’t expect to finish in the top ten. We will be showcasing the next batch of new products at Silverstone and until then we will just keep doing what we can, so everything is simple in this respect.

And yet, how did the MCL60 allow Norris to show such a high result in qualifying? McLaren team principal Andrea Stella explained: “This result confirmed what we already knew. There are a number of conditions under which our car performs very efficiently, including a cold track, cool weather, fast cornering and good grip that the tires provide.

If the tires hold the track well, it masks the balance issues and allows Lando and Oscar to show competitive results.

During qualifying, a new set of soft tires provide excellent grip, and this masks our difficulties in the mid-stage cornering. This does not happen in a race: if the tires are already worn, this phase takes longer than with new tires and with a minimum fuel load. Therefore, the characteristics of the machine’s behavior vary greatly.

But we don’t just have to work on improving the aerodynamic efficiency of the car – we certainly have to make sure that the tires are operating in a more favorable temperature range during the race.

According to the team leader, McLaren will try to solve these problems by the Austrian stage of the season.

Source: F1 News

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