Norris reveals area where McLaren car remains 'pretty terrible'


There's no denying the remarkable step forward enjoyed by McLaren after its car's recent upgrades, but Lando Norris says the MCL60 remains "pretty terrible" in one critical area.

In Austria, McLaren initiated the first of a three-stage update programme centered around improving the aerodynamic efficiency of its 2023 contender.

At Silverstone last weekend, Oscar Piastri received his fair of the changes while another development phase was implemented on Norris' car.

Although unable to challenge Red Bull's hegemony, McLaren was undeniably a step ahead of its Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin rivals last weekend, which bodes well for the remainder of team papaya's season.

Taking stock of his team's recent advancements, Norris highlighted the new-spec MCL60's consistency over a race weekend and the ability for its drivers to better look after their tyres.

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"These tracks allow us to look after the tyres well," he explained. "We're very, very competitive in high speed and we're almost on par with what Red Bull could achieve.

"And actually, I would say, towards the medium speed like Turn 15 here, Stowe, I would say we're close to being the best car on the grid.

"Super, super high speed like Turn 9 [Copse], maybe not quite so much, but that was in qualifying and then when we come to the race, we definitely maintain our performance when others seem to take a bit of a hit.

"In doing so we can actually look after the tyres pretty well, especially when there's no thermal limitation within the tyre like there was necessarily here."

However, Norris offered a word of caution regarding McLaren's prospects in Hungary next week and in other upcoming races as he singled out one clear weakness that remains embedded in his car.

"We do have a poor car - and when I say poor, I would say pretty terrible - in the low-speed corners,” he explained. "It’s extremely difficult to drive.

"I feel [people] getting excited and I accept that, but we're going to go to a couple of tracks coming up where I'm sure people are going to be saying: 'What have you done now? How has it got so bad all of a sudden?'

"So, we've improved a lot of things like tyre degradation, and there's always little things you try and do with tyre cooling and blah, blah, blah, but nothing big from that side.

"It's just this track has allowed us to look after the tyres nicely, and keep them in a good condition. It is as simple as that.

"A lot of it is track-specific. I don't want to get too excited. Good things have come from the upgrade but there's still plenty of things which are a miles away from competing in certain places with a Mercedes, and as a whole package competing even with a Red Bull.

"So, a lot more work to be done from both of those areas."

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