Norris braced for ‘pain’ ahead at McLaren in 2022

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Bahrain McLaren March 2022.

McLaren team-mates Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo follow each other in the race. Bahrain March 2022.

After a day spent running towards the back, Lando Norris admitted there could be more “pain” to come at McLaren this year.

Having given the impression they could compete towards the front of the pack with a solid run in pre-season testing, Norris qualified in P13 while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was knocked out in Q1.

Their fortunes did not improve in the race either, with both cars having been lapped at half-race distance and finishing a distant P14 and P15 in the end.

Norris added after the race he hopes for a “fresh start” for the team in Saudi Arabia next weekend, but is not expecting an immediate fix to the team’s current plight.

“I’m expecting pain, and I think everyone needs to know there probably will be a bit of pain,” Norris said to reporters after the race, quoted by ESPN.

“As McLaren and myself we expect a lot more, but it’s not what we have at the minute. We have to get used to it – we’ve been in this position a few years ago, but we have to remain optimistic the team and everyone back at MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] can figure things out and we can get back on track.

“I’m hoping this is as bad as it gets – might not be, could be. There’s a lot of time. We still have a whole season of development and figuring things out.”

Norris managed to smile his way through his post-race media commitments as best he could in Bahrain, with last season’s successes now firmly in the rear-view mirror with the Woking-based outfit.

There is still a long way to go this season, of course, but the 22-year-old said the team may have to get comfortable with their current surroundings in the short term as they work on a way to climb back up the standings – with the added disappointment of the team not living up to their steady growth in recent seasons.

“It’s a brave face,” he admitted. “Of course difficult. I’m sure it looked as bad as it felt. This is where we are, quite simply – we just have to get a little bit used to it now.

 

“Of course, over the last few seasons there has been a lot of expectation from us within the team but also everyone else watching and we just haven’t got it right at the minute.

“We are a long, long way off – not a little bit, a long way.”

 

Planet F1 Verdict

 

Serious work needed at McLaren

McLaren had an awful start to the 2022 season in Bahrain.