Norris: Miami ‘not the track’ to judge McLaren upgrades


Lando Norris says Miami isn’t the best circuit to gauge the full impact of McLaren’s MCL38 upgrade package.

In Florida, team papaya opted for a substantial overhaul of various aerodynamic components on its MCL38, aiming to increase overall downforce and boost its machine’s performance.

However, only Norris received the team’s full package with teammate Oscar Piastri settling for approximately 50% of the updates.

While glimpses of improved speed were evident throughout the weekend, Norris struggled to consistently deliver a standout performance.

On Friday, the Briton experienced a chaotic sprint qualifying session, ending up in ninth position before being eliminated in a first-corner incident in the short-form race itself on Saturday.

Later on in qualifying, Norris managed to secure fifth place behind Red Bull and Ferrari’s drivers, despite not fully extracting the potential from the soft tyres and even experimenting with the medium compound.

Furthermore, in Miami’s overheated environment, the critical role of tyre temperature management in maximizing performance made it difficult for Norris to accurately assess the true effectiveness of the upgrade package.

"It's good, it's working as expected but I think it's not the track which is going to show all of it," commented Norris.

"Hopefully in Imola or something, we can see a bit more of the potential of the car. But it's a step in the right direction, that team has done a very good job to get everything up and ready."

Norris urged caution against drawing definitive conclusions after just a handful of sessions on one track. The McLaren charger suggested waiting for data gathered over multiple races to provide a more accurate evaluation of the MCL38’s upgrade package.

"I think you can never judge it on one session and one track," he explained. "You have to see it on high downforce, low downforce and everything. People are too quick to judge everything from one weekend or one day or whatever.

"I think everyone just needs to be a bit more patient with everything and see what it's like over two weekends, three weekends before you start to judge.

"We have our answers of it's working, but to know the true extent of it and how well it performs in all different areas, that's when you have to wait over three races rather than just making a conclusion in one."

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