Norris glad to get first taste of wet weather running

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren Honda 31.07.2018
© XPB 

McLaren test and reserve driver Lando Norris was actually rather happy to see some rain at the Hungaroring on Tuesday, during Formula 1's second two-day in-season test session of the year.

A surprisingly heavy downpour during the last 90 minutes of track time meant that teams cracked open their supplies of intermediate tyres for the last few runs of the day.

Although that affected McLaren's planned programme and prevented some final flying lap runs to notch up good times, Norris certainly wasn't complaining.

"It was really enjoyable to get back in the car today, especially as it’s one year since I first made my debut," he noted afterwards. "The first three-quarters of the day were obviously really good.

"I did a lot of testing; quite a few aero runs but at the same time a good amount of proper runs, so I had a good feeling for the car – until it rained!

"I was a bit nervous before I went out because it got properly wet very quickly!" he said. "It's the first time I’ve driven a Formula 1 car in the rain, so it was good to feel the difference from F2 to F1 in the wet.

"It was still tricky, but I thought it would be a lot trickier because of how much more horsepower you have in F1.

"You have a lot more grip than in Formula 2 so it’s just on another level in a similar way to how it is in the dry," he observed. “I had a good feeling even in the wet, but then it dried out very quickly.

"Cornering speeds and braking performance are much better than you’d expect in the rain, so I had more confidence than I thought I was going to have."

In the end, Norris completed 107 laps and set the fourth fastest time of the day. His best lap of 1:19.294s compared with the top time of 1:15.648s set by Ferrari's Antonio Giovinazzi.

McLaren had spent the morning working on aero correlation and development over shorter runs, before moving to longer stints in the afternoon before the rain arrived.

"That put us back a bit, so there are some things we’ll need to carry on testing tomorrow," Norris acknowledged. "I’ve experienced basically everything today weather-wise, and did 107 laps, so that’s really positive.”

Norris will be back in the car for the second day of testing on Wednesday, and got a good halfway report from McLaren's sportring director Gil de Ferran.

“We did a lot of laps with the added bonus of some wet running for Lando," he said on Tuesday evening. "He’s been able to learn about the car for the first time in these conditions.

“Lando acclimatised himself very quickly and we went through an extensive programme of test items, which has provided us with a lot of useful information.

“We hope for more of the same on day two, so we shall see what tomorrow brings.”

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