Norris 'unconcerned' by McLaren low-speed weakness in Monaco


Lando Norris admits that low speed corners remain a weakness for McLaren’s MCL38, yet the Briton is not “too concerned” about his prospects for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

McLaren has been on a steady upward trajectory since last season and its positive trend has continued this year thanks to its car’s ongoing development.

In Miami, Norris secured his maiden Grand Prix win, beating championship leader Max Verstappen fair and square.

Last weekend, the 24-year-old gave the Red Bull charger another run for his money in the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with Norris crossing the checkered flag just 0.7s behind Verstappen.

However, on paper, Monaco’s tight and twisty 3.337km layout seems ill-suited for the characteristics of McLaren’s MCL38, a car prone to a degree of relative weakness in slow corners.

Yet Norris believes that on the streets of Monte Carlo, a strong car overall coupled with driver commitment can overcome a specific handling deficit.

“My worst corner [at Imola] was turn 14, 15 [Variante Alta], the slowest part of the circuit,” Norris explained, quoted by RaceFans. “That’s where I was losing most of my time.

“So we still have that as a weakness and we know that, we’re working on it.

“It doesn’t make me too concerned for Monaco because it’s a track where you want a good car, but you also just need to commit to everything. It’s such a fast circuit.

“It’s not like you just turn the wheel slowly, you have to commit. You have to judge how close you’re going to get to the apexes and that kind of thing. So there’s a big element of risk.

“When that comes into play, it kind of spreads out things a little bit too. So I’m not concerned. I’m excited to go to Monaco. I’m sure everyone is, because it’s so cool. At least excited for Saturday, I can’t wait.”

Norris revealed that updates introduced by McLaren at Imola mitigated somewhat its MCL38’s slow-corner deficiency, while a few changes have also been implemented for this weekend’s round of racing in the Principality.

“You set up the car completely differently to what you would [at Imola],” he said. “I don’t think it correlates exactly the same.

“When we can just set the car up for slow speed, we’re better. But when you have to set it up for high-speed, medium-speed, and slow-speed, that’s when we make the most of our strengths, which is high and medium, and we take the hit in slow-speed.

“But we have some little things, and even the upgrade we had last weekend helped us a little bit move in the right direction.

“We’re on the right track,” he added. “We’re fighting against Ferraris and Red Bulls and that’s the expectation now.

“I think we want to do the same again, but it’s such a different track. We need to say how we are on Friday.”

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter