Norris insists McLaren not in 'an amazing place' in Barcelona


McLaren left a solid impression on its rivals during F1's first pre-season test in Barcelona, yet Lando Norris played down his team's performance, insisting the papaya squad isn't in "an amazing place", or at least not yet.

Norris had the privilege of topping the timesheet on the opening day of running this week at the Circuit de Catalunya, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo upheld the Woking-based outfit's form in Thursday morning's session.

McLaren's pace impressed many in the paddock and was singled out by Mercedes charger George Russell who said the team looked "very, very competitive".

But Norris played down the positive words and McLaren's overall level of performance in Spain.


"George obviously topped the timesheet, so if he thinks we're strong, we’re going to think he's stronger," Norris said after Friday morning's session.

"But if there's any team on the grid right now that you'll expect to be at the front when it matters, it's got to be Mercedes and probably Red Bull.

"So no, I don't think we're in an amazing place. I think we're in a good place. We had a car which as soon as you put on the track, worked well.

"Of course, there's always new things and some unexpected issues here and there. But it's been a good start."

Between its two drivers, McLaren logged a total of 367 laps in Barcelona, the third highest lap count behind Ferrari (439) and Mercedes (393).

The tally reflects the top teams' strong reliability, but Norris expalined that under the surface, there had been "a lot of issues" for McLaren to deal with.

"It's not been perfect," he said. "Maybe from the outside it looked amazing. But still many things behind the scenes, which were not out of control but just to work on and fix and we'll amend for the future.

"I think it was as expected. We've had our issues. I think a lot of other teams have had their issues as well.

"I was just trying to iron them out and make sure they didn't happen either the following days or into the next test."

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