Norris: McLaren in ‘good’, but not ‘amazing’ place

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris walks in the paddock. Barcelona February 2022.

Lando Norris holds a drink bottle while walking through the paddock. Barcelona February 2022.

Lando Norris has again tried to temper thoughts surrounding McLaren’s pace in Barcelona, saying there’s still a long way to go to be competitive.

Norris admitted a slight annoyance that he went fastest on the first day of running in Barcelona this week, saying he would have preferred to rank last as his pace on Wednesday may have raised hopes about the speed of his car at this early stage.

Mercedes driver George Russell believes McLaren and Ferrari rank ahead of his new team at this moment in time, but Norris went against his compatriot, and instead feels the competitive order goes the other way, but emphasised that his team have had a “good start”.

“George obviously topped the timesheet [on Friday morning], so if he thinks we’re strong, we’re going to think he’s strong,” Norris said after his stint in the MCL36, quoted by Autosport.

“But if there’s any team on the grid right now that you’ll expect to be at the front when it matters, it’s got to be Mercedes and probably Red Bull.

“So no, I don’t think we’re in an amazing place. I think we’re in a good place. We had a car which as soon as you put on the track, worked well. Of course, there’s always new things and some unexpected issues here and there. But it’s been a good start.”

McLaren logged the third-most laps of any team on the grid over the week, only behind Ferrari and Mercedes as they gained valuable data about their new challenger.

Alfa Romeo and Haas both suffered teething problems with their cars, but the majority of the field racked up significant mileage with fewer blips than most had expected, especially considering the brand new regulations and car specifications.

Even though it would be easy to think the teams would have struggled a bit more to make their new cars reliable from the off, Norris was unsurprised to his his car working well all week.


“No, I don’t expect bad things to happen. You work at the highest level,” he said.

“But we still had a lot of issues. It’s not been perfect. Maybe from the outside it looked amazing. But still many things behind the scenes, which were not out of control but just to work on and fix and we’ll amend for the future.

“I think it was as expected. We’ve had our issues. I think a lot of other teams have had their issues as well.

“I was just trying to iron them out and make sure they didn’t happen either the following days or into the next test.”


Norris feels 2022 cars are ‘more sluggish’

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