Lando Norris’ ‘coming for Red Bull’ message analysed by McLaren boss

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris pumps his fist after finishing on the podium in Qatar.

McLaren driver Lando Norris clenches a fist in celebration.

McLaren principal Andrea Stella said it was “bold” of Lando Norris to claim that they are “coming for Red Bull”, but he likes that show of belief.

While Red Bull’s dominant three-time World Champion Max Verstappen claimed victory number 14 of F1 2023 in Qatar, he could not take his foot off the gas too much with the McLaren pair keeping him on his toes.

Verstappen won by only 4.8 seconds over Oscar Piastri, with Norris a second further back.

McLaren boss likes what he hears from Lando Norris

That made it back-to-back double podiums for McLaren, and after part one in Suzuka, where Norris secured a P2 result, he came over the radio after the race to declare that McLaren are on the hunt and are “coming for Red Bull”.

“Bold” words from the Brit Stella acknowledges, but certainly not ones he is concerned to hear.

“That is the belief of the team because obviously we look forward and we are here to be successful, we are here to win races at some stage, and we are here to win championships at some stage,” said Stella, as per the Formula 1 website.

“Obviously at such a positive result, that was a bold statement by Lando, but we like it. We like to get this inspiration from our drivers. That was a very motivational message for Lando and definitely everyone at McLaren is very determined to keep progressing with the car.

“What we can really do is about making the car quicker and quicker. We can have goals, we can set targets, but you don’t progress with setting targets, you progress with the work you do every day, implementing the vision, bringing it to life and that’s our focus really.”

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Andrea Stella details benefits of new McLaren windtunnel

The transformation of McLaren in F1 2023 has been rather remarkable, this a team which was battling to score points earlier in the season, yet are now a regular participant in the podium celebrations.

And as they look to take the next step and challenge for wins and titles again, their efforts will be aided by their new in-house windtunnel, having now moved out of Toyota’s facility in Cologne.

Stella though believes the logistical and financial benefits will be most profound with this new windtunnel, pointing out how the hugely successful MCL60 upgrades were generated in Cologne.

The financial and logistical boost should then have a knock-on effect to further boost performance for McLaren.

“The main benefit is to have our wind tunnel in house,” said Stella as he cast an eye to McLaren’s future.

“Before we needed to go and test in Germany, which from a logistic point of view is a massive challenge. You have parts ready, and then you have to transport to Germany, so you have clear delays.

“And Formula 1 runs very quick, even when it comes to design. So now we are in condition to shorten all these loops that are very important to the design of a faster car.

“Also, we save some money from a financial point of view because we were renting the wind tunnel in Germany. While now we have our own wind tunnel, and we save this money, and we can re-invest it in labour, engineer, mechanics, technicians, and we can reinvest it in car parts.

“In fairness, we also have to say that the upgrade we saw in Austria, and the upgrade we saw in Singapore, they were developed in the German wind tunnel. So, it’s an improvement having our own wind tunnel, but it’s mainly from a practical and financial point of view.”

P3 in the Constructors’ Championship could still be on for McLaren, Ferrari in that position 79 points up the road with five rounds of F1 2023 remaining.

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