Norris: McLaren want to ‘start fresh’ after Bahrain

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris adjusts his helmet. Bahrain March 2022.

McLaren driver Lando Norris prepares to head out on track. Bahrain March 2022.

Lando Norris said McLaren were “a little bit” surprised at their lack of pace, but acknowledged he knew it would be “a long weekend” in Bahrain.

Norris and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo qualified outside the top 10 and never looked like threatening the points-paying positions as they took P14 and P15.

Norris admitted the MCL36 is not currently up to scratch when it comes to fighting with teams around them, but added the team are working hard to try and sort out their issues – and “start fresh”.

“It was just tough to hang on to the car,” Norris admitted to “Especially when you are around quicker cars, you want to try and keep up because that’s your only hope and when you do so, it’s easy to make mistakes.

“You just deg[rade] the tyres way too much comparing to what you should by trying to be too over-optimistic with a position.

“Not in a bad way – it’s just you are pushing to try and do better, and we just don’t really have a good enough car at the minute to do better.

“So we have a lot of work to do, quite simply, between us here at the track but also everyone back at MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] where we are working as hard as possible for next week to try and bring some improvements and figure out the car a bit more.

“See if there’s anything we are missing or we’ve got away from or whatever, and just try and start fresh, but as well learn as many things as we can from this weekend. We’ll see what we can do next week [in Saudi Arabia].”

Having tested through all three days in Bahrain while Ricciardo was sidelined with COVID-19, Norris had already taken in plenty of laps of Sakhir – but not in representative race conditions.

With that, when he found his car would be tough to handle, he knew that did not bode well for the grand prix weekend.

“Maybe a little bit,” Norris responded when asked if he was surprised by McLaren’s lack of speed. “Not completely, because I think we knew from lap 1 in FP1 it would be a long weekend.


“From the first push lap I felt like ‘I’m happy with that, three seconds off’,” he added, tongue firmly in cheek.

“So we knew it would be tough. It’s just a race distance, doing the 57 laps with a car that’s very difficult to drive, that’s when you start suffering a lot.

“We can try some things for next week and so on, but I’m not too sure just yet.”


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