McLaren duo mystified by strong practice pace

Date published: June 21 2019

Lando Norris: McLaren driver

McLaren caught the eye with some strong early pace at the French Grand Prix, but neither driver are quite sure how they have managed to do it.

Lando Norris provided two stand-out times on both the hard and soft tyre during FP2, the latter good enough to put him up to P5 on the timesheet and within a second of the leading Mercedes at the top.

But, the Brit was not expecting to be in such lofty heights early on coming into the French Grand Prix weekend.

“It is a bit of surprise; the team and I didn’t think the track would suit as much as Canada,” said Norris.

“It is just Friday; we were quick on a Friday. We were quick in Canada on a Friday. But I’m sure that the other teams are going to improve, so we have to improve the same amount and just stay ahead.

“I don’t know what the reason is.”

Carlos Sainz split the two Red Bulls down in P7 come the end of the FP2 in France and was equally perplexed as Norris.

He added: “I don’t know why. I don’t understand yet.

“We need to do some analysis. Today we were strong, but I will see that this track suits our car whenever we qualify P6 or P7. Until then, after Friday it is very difficult to tell.

“You know it has been a good day when you are not happy with the car and suffering out there with different issues, and you are still P7.

“So that gives good confidence for Saturday. We still need to change quite a lot of things because we were running a lot of experimental parts, changing floors, changing a lot of stuff on the car to see where the performance is.

“Hopefully tomorrow we can put together all the good pieces and have a better day.”

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