Lando Norris says the aerodynamic issues that troubled cars in previous years have continued despite the 2022 overhaul in regulations.
At the second round of pre-season testing in Bahrain, McLaren struggled with a brake issue that meant Norris, who was the only driver at the track due to Daniel Ricciardo’s illness, was unable to do long stints.
In the time he did manage on track, Norris said the cars were still sensitive to the wind.
“Definitely the cars are still sensitive to the wind,” Norris said, as reported by motorsport.com.
“I think that’s a good thing we found it out, just because Barcelona was not windy. So it’s kind of good that we understood it’s still there.
“F1 cars are still sensitive to the wind and how gusty it can be and so on. And just the difference in the track – it was a lot hotter than in Barcelona, so how the tyres are working, the car is working.
“It’s a lot bumpier, so how the car is riding the bumps and performing over the bumps and the compromises you have to make with the set-up are very different.
“So I think all of these things were tricky. And we have to try to understand and figure it out.”
Busy three days of testing. Now let's go do the real thing. pic.twitter.com/bQZA3h26sZ
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) March 13, 2022
The 22-year-old said wind has played a part in the 2022 cars so far struggling with slower corners.
“I think the combination of two things – one is the wind, it was a tailwind all day,” he said.
“It makes it so much harder to get the car stopped and so on. And in terms of downforce, you just have a lot less than if you had a headwind or no wind, for example.
“And secondly with these different tyres, the bigger tyres, how you have to set up these cars is stiffer, and then it’s quite a bumpy entry you have into that corner and you are also turning while braking.
“So when you put all of this together, it’s not what an F1 car is designed to do necessarily and makes it extremely tricky, and very easy to lock up the front tyre, go straight on and flat-spot the tyres and so on.”
Norris also said he thinks drivers will take a more conservative approach as a result of the 2022 changes.
“It’s a difficult one, especially when you put new tyres on – you want to push it a little bit more,” he added.
“It’s like you really have to pace yourself. I think it’s a similar case with some other corners as well. It’s not about throwing it in – it looks like we are – and I think that’s like the effect of what happens.
“But realistically, you have to be a bit more on the conservative side with these cars, don’t try to push it. There’s quite a few consequences.”
Concern for McLaren as brake issue emerges
Concern at McLaren as brake issues stopped any long runs in day one of testing.