Lando Norris said he has work to do on learning the new McLaren upgrades after only having them for FP2 at the French Grand Prix.
McLaren brought a total of seven upgrades to Paul Ricard, the most of any team, but chose to split their drivers’ strategies in order to see how the new packages would compare to the previous iteration.
The Brit then had the upgraded version of the MCL36 for FP2 but admitted it did not excite him as much as he would have dreamt of.
“I didn’t think we expected a lot of it,” Norris told F1.com. “We expected a small step and it’s still too early to say. I’ve just driven it and things feel different. Some things a little bit better and then some things we [have] still got to just optimise and figure out.
“But reasonable, I think. Daniel had it this morning for FP1 so he’s understood a little bit more. I think for me, I [have] still got to figure out a little bit how to drive the car because it is a little bit different in that regard.”
Friday in France finished. 🏁 A strong day for the team under hot weather conditions. ☀️
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 22, 2022
Norris was unwilling to elaborate on just what was different but said it feels “just a little bit off” if something has changed.
“I wouldn’t say tricky,” he replied when asked how it was different. “It’s just this feeling you get behind the wheel. You get so used to things.
“As soon as something feels just a little bit off, you have to figure out why that’s happening, what it’s doing, what the reasoning is for it and then how to overcome it and maximise it again.
“So it’s nothing like say good or bad. It’s just the limitation of the car is just in different places through the corner and therefore you have just got to adapt yourself to that.
“I guess I’m playing a little bit of catch-up and just trying to understand all of that, comparing to Daniel. But at the same time it’s been good. We’ve been able to compare data easily today because we chose that strategy of me not having it, him having it and therefore we can look at the data tonight and extract more performance for tomorrow.”
The curious case of McLaren in 2022
McLaren have had arguably the biggest peaks and troughs of the year so far, in terms of how varying their performance has been.