McLaren was safe to say the most surprising team from the F1 testing at Barcelona if you were looking at the time sheets. Lando Norris racked up the fastest time of the three days at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and Ferrari with Charles Leclerc at the wheel took a safe second. It was only on the final day did Mercedes break through to the top two spots with Lewis Hamilton and George Russel placing first and second fastest on the final day of the event with McLaren following in third.
Norris was happy with this position, admitting that he was happy to keep expectations low with him adding that Mercedes and Red Bull still have the fastest cars regardless of the regulation changes for 2022.
He told the press the following:
“Mercedes never look like that good in testing – until they get to the first race. If they’re good in testing, it means they’re probably going to be incredible by the first race.
“So, no, I think everyone is working on their own programmes, everyone is on different fuel loads and power modes and whatever.
“We can see a picture, we can see we are in decent position, but then Mercedes and Ferrari have looked very good since day one. They’ve been at the top of the timesheets every single time and their long run pace looks good.
“Ferrari look very strong, but Mercedes and Red Bull are right there with us and if anything, I would say a little bit ahead at the moment.”
Norris did however admit that he didn’t feel his McLaren testing was perfect, but enjoyed his time testing alongside new McLaren driver Daniel Riccardo.
“Personally, I feel like we have a lot of work to do as team if we want to be fighting with them.
“That’s expected but I think we know there’s still many things for us to improve on to get to the level they’re at.”