Norris wary rivals may have turned engine down in FP2

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris, McLaren, wears a Union Jack hat. F1 England, July 2022.

Lando Norris, McLaren, wears a Union Jack hat in the Silverstone paddock.

Lando Norris feels in a good place after claiming P2 on Friday at Silverstone, so hopes rival teams did not turn the engine turned down.

Rain showers soaked parts of the Silverstone track for FP1, so it was not until the second session of the day that the action began to ramp up.

And once it was all said and done, Norris found himself up in the lofty heights of a P2 finish, despite struggling with the windy conditions, creating hope of a strong result for the McLaren driver on home soil.

Norris is happy with the MCL36, which seems to have escaped unharmed from a heavy fall when the rear jack failed in FP2, so all the signs are positive, as long as rival teams were running similar engine modes to McLaren.

“It’s been a tricky day, just the wind conditions make it extremely difficult,” Norris told reporters after FP2. “So as good as it looked, it’s still difficult to put things together and to be consistent and so on, especially in the long run.

“It’s very difficult to get that rhythm and to get into it, because every lap the car is doing something different. You have different gusts of wind that can affect the car in a huge way. I think, let’s say, I’m as confident as I can be in these conditions.

“But yeah, happy, car seems to be in a decent place at least a little bit better than we’re expecting whether that’s good or not, or whether it’s because we’ve turned it up more than the others. We don’t know. So, yeah. As far as we know from ourselves, things are in a good area and we can find some more improvements into tomorrow.”

The forecast suggests that more rain could well be in the area on Saturday, with Norris revealing that an effort to save the tyres in anticipation for this was behind the lack of FP1 action.

“We did hardly any [wet weather running in FP1] because we were saving the tyres for tomorrow,” Norris explained. “We think it’s going to be a higher chance of it being rainy, or it being wet, tomorrow.

“I don’t know if it’s like today, hopefully that’s perfect because it’s always tricky in the rain. But I love the circuit, things are going well and hopefully that continues whether it’s dry or wet.”

For Daniel Ricciardo, it was not such a positive Friday, driving on his 33rd birthday.

The Aussie managed only P9 in FP2, some eight-tenths slower than his team-mate, though he felt that more is to come once he delivers a cleaner lap on the soft tyre.

“The morning actually, there wasn’t much going on, but the afternoon, I guess it was more fun, we got out there, had a little bit of fun,” he reflected.

“With the hard [tyre] it was looking alright, but then with the soft, I didn’t really put the greatest lap in the world together.

“But I think we got in a decent place considering, and looking at Lando, it looks like we’re in a decent spot. So, it’s early, we’ve obviously only had one session, but for the only dry sessions of the day, I think we’re alright.

“So, we’ll kind of look across cars tonight, try and optimise everything, and then it won’t be my birthday tomorrow, so I’ll just be more focused, I guess!”