Norris expects ‘much better’ Mercedes package

Date published: January 20 2021

Lando Norris McLaren

Lando Norris believes McLaren will benefit from having an all-round better power unit after switching back to Mercedes.

The Woking outfit moved on from Mercedes at the conclusion of the 2014 season, with three unsuccessful years following after they tried to rekindle their past glory with Honda.

But over the past two seasons McLaren have slowly been building their way back up the Formula 1 ladder with Renault power, claiming P3 in the 2020 Constructors’ Championship.

McLaren now though make their return to Mercedes for 2021, meaning they are armed with the best power unit on the grid.

More than just power though, Norris feels the Mercedes package is just a better fit for McLaren.

“I think all round, it’s a better package,” Norris told Motorsport.com.

“It’s more power. Touch wood, it’s more reliability. It’s a slightly better-fitting package, so as just a whole, there’s a lot of positives about it.

“I’m not into everything, so I’m sure there are maybe some negatives there, and we have a good relationship with Renault, so things are very smooth now and we know them, and there’s going to be a lot of new things.

“I’m sure there’s going to be some things we have to understand and we’re not going to be quite as natural with with just the mechanics and the engineers and how they understand everything. Of course they’ll do a great job in that transition in trying to understand it.

“There’s going to be some things which are a bit trickier, but as a package, it should be much better, and that gives us good confidence it will take us that little bit further towards the top.”

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McLaren need the Mercedes engine to give them a welcome boost, since they have used both of their development tokens for their 2021 challenger.

At times the MCL35 could be quite a handful, with the wind often having a big impact on its performance, so Norris sees 2021 as the perfect opportunity to continue learning about the car and improve it, since a lot of that chassis is being carried over.

“With the tricky car that we had and the struggles and the positives and negatives, there’s still many things we need to work on through [2021],” said the Briton.

“I guess the good thing with having bad things with the car or negatives is that you can try and work on them and try and turn them into positives, and it will make the car quicker. That’s a good thing.

“It’s not like we have an amazing car which is slow, and we don’t know how to work on it. I think we know the direction we need to work in. It’s just very difficult to unlock it and find those things.

“That’s probably why you see in the last two or three years, teams have been very similar – I guess apart from Ferrari. Although you’re spending however much money, it’s just not easy for engineers to figure out these exact things which can be millimetres of difference with all these different parts.

“We’re working very closely with the factory and the aero department and things like that, and everyone in the factory to continue working hard and developing the car into next year.”

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