Norris: McLaren in reasonable position but needs 'bigger things'

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Lando Norris believes McLaren will start its 2023 season in a "reasonable position", but insists the team needs "bigger things" in terms of the development of its MCL60 to improve its car's efficiency.

At the outset at the team's presentation in Woking, McLaren technical director Andrea Stella warned he was not entirely happy with the current state of development of team papaya's 2023 car.

Pre-season testing last week in Bahrain confirmed that McLaren had a lot of catch-up to do to bring itself in line with its ambitions of being the fourth best team on the grid this season.

While small updates will appear on its car at upcoming races, Norris will need to wait until Baku at the end of April for a more significant package to be implemented on McLaren's MCL60.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60. 23.02.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.

"We know we need a step in efficiency, we need more downforce. We also need to go in the straights quicker," Norris said ahead of this weekend's opening race in Bahrain.

"So, there's obviously a path we need to try and find, and I believe we're slowly finding our way there, but we need a lot more.

"It's not just small things. We need some bigger things just it still takes a long time to achieve. But hopefully this is a bit of a pathway to that."

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Norris says McLaren's current "limitations" are not unlike what it endured last season. However, the Briton believes his team has a clear path this year to improve its fortunes.

"We're in a reasonable position to start the season but we have similar limitations to what we did last year," he explained.

"But I think this year we have a clearer plan on how to tackle those changes than what we did last year," he explained.

"I think it's a mixture of two things. One is the general balance and two is overall downforce.

"Overall downforce kind of fixes 90% of the problems but to become that final step, there is other things on top of it."

McLaren has often alluded to its current lack of infrastructure as a reason for the team's stagnation. The team's new wind tunnel is in the process of being built and is expected to come online later this year as well new simulator hardware.

But Norris believes McLaren should be able to "do more" with what it already has.

"I think we have a lot of what we need," he said. "Of course, we still know that the wind tunnel is coming, the simulator is coming, two things that will definitely help us take another step forward, but we need to do more with what we have now already.

"What we're having in Baku should be what we're starting the season with. If you want to be a top team, it's where we should've started the season with those kinds of parts which are coming.

"But until then, we'll just do the best we can to make the most of what we have now."

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