McLaren have played down Renault’s rumours of them using a ‘secret’ update to increase their pace at the French Grand Prix weekend.
McLaren have caught the eye all weekend thus far with Lando Norris in particular setting some stand-out times in both practice and qualifying.
Norris will line up P5 on Sunday’s grid with team-mate Carlos Sainz in P6. A far cry from the P16 and P18 the team managed in Q1 at the 2018 French Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, five tenths behind the McLaren in P8 despite being part of the works team, reckons McLaren have something up their sleeve.
“We got beat by the two McLarens, but they were a long way down the road. They have a little hidden update they told no one about, I think,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1.
“It’s impressive their pace and we couldn’t match that so I think P8 was the maximum and I’m pretty happy with that.”
Norris, though, said he was surprised as anyone to reach such lofty heights and the P5 and P6 result was not expected at all.
2018: P16 and P18
2019: P5 and P6
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) June 22, 2019
“As a team we have done very well. We are ahead of who we need to be,” Norris told Sky Sports F1.
“I have heard rumours from Renault saying we have a secret upgrade. We weren’t expecting anything at all to be honest, but it has turned out better than we expected. But tomorrow will be tougher.
“We were very quick in FP1 which was quite worrying, but we managed to continue it throughout the weekend. Canada was the opposite and for some reason the car this year is changing from track to track.
“We will take the result for today and we will keep working hard.”
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