Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
27 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
50 days
09 May
Next event in
67 days
23 May
Race in
85 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
99 days
13 Jun
Race in
106 days
27 Jun
Race in
120 days
04 Jul
Next event in
123 days
18 Jul
Race in
141 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
155 days
29 Aug
Race in
183 days
05 Sep
Race in
190 days
12 Sep
Race in
197 days
26 Sep
Race in
211 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
214 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
239 days
31 Oct
Race in
246 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
281 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
288 days

Norris: Single-lap quirk behind McLaren's misleading advantage

Lando Norris says McLaren’s superiority against its midfield Formula 1 rivals looks greater than it really is because qualifying has hidden some of its problems.

shares
comments
Norris: Single-lap quirk behind McLaren's misleading advantage

McLaren is on course for a comfortable fourth-place finish in the constructors’ championship and top-scored amongst the midfield teams at half of the races so far in 2019.

It has also had the fourth-fastest car with an average qualifying advantage over fifth-fastest Renault that, in percentage terms, covers the next four teams.

However, Norris believes that in qualifying McLaren “just about get away with how the car is performing”, describing the MCL34 as a car with a “fundamental” problem of being tricky to drive.

“The new tyres mask it a bit, and they just give us the things that we need on the qualifying lap,” he said. “So we were able to do better almost than what we know we will able to do during the race.”

He added: “We’re on edge in qualifying and the car can perform well but when we get to the race the car kind of shows its true potential and what it should be doing on those older tyres and the new tyres just mask it.”

Read Also:

McLaren produced its strongest qualifying performance of the season at the previous race in the United States, qualifying within 1% of the fastest time for the first time this year.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified six tenths slower than the lead McLaren in the US but managed to finish sixth in the race, ahead of Norris.

Asked by Motorsport.com if it is closer between McLaren and its rivals than the season’s statistics make it look, Norris said: “Yeah, I would say so. We’re good in qualifying which is a good bonus for us, because it sets us up well for the race every time.

“I’m always in a good position, you can have clean air every now and then. We’re able to not show as easily our weaknesses, or it kind of hides because we have clean air and the others are stuck behind us.

“But then when it’s vice versa, then we struggle a lot more and we realise we’re not as quick as what they are when they’re following us kind of thing so.”

Read Also:

Norris believes that as well as McLaren’s “weaknesses” showing more in the race, the team has been hamstrung by operation problems – with pitstops one key area recently highlighted by team boss Andreas Seidl.

While he does not believe McLaren is “bad” at pitstops, Norris conceded it has had “more” and “bigger” problems than others.

“We started the season off fairly well actually but we haven’t been able to improve as much as some of the other teams,” he said. “So now we know we’re a bit lacking. And we’ve had some problems where it’s cost Carlos points, it cost me points.

“It’s not been terrible. It’s still been better than what it was last year, that’s for sure.”

Hamilton braced for next round of "stressful" F1 contract talks

Previous article

Hamilton braced for next round of "stressful" F1 contract talks

Next article

Live: Follow Brazilian GP practice as it happens

Live: Follow Brazilian GP practice as it happens
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lando Norris
Teams McLaren
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021