Formula 1

McLaren Optimistic After Challenging FP2 Session: Norris’s Position Misleading

In a twist of events during FP2, Lando Norris landed P20, failing to set a proper time on C3 soft tires. However, McLaren remained upbeat, citing the session’s overall productivity and noting the misrepresentation of Norris’s position in the rankings.

Key Takeaways:

  • McLaren remained positive about FP2’s outcomes despite Norris’s P20 finish, attributing it to the challenges encountered during his only lap on the C3 soft tire.
  • Despite a commendable P2 finish in FP1, Norris struggled in FP2, mainly due to a significant error in the last sector, as pointed out by McLaren CEO Zak Brown.
  • The team emphasized that Norris’s P20 result from his sole timed lap did not reflect the car’s true potential. They focused on car setup and tire comprehension, with an aim to leverage their strengths in upcoming sessions. Norris himself recognized the need for improvement but was satisfied with the car’s balance and comfort level.

Following a promising start in FP1 where Norris clinched P2, the FP2 session painted a starkly different picture. A major misstep in the final sector, as highlighted by McLaren CEO Zak Brown, impacted Norris’s performance.

Andrea Stella, McLaren Team Principal, sought to clarify the situation. Stella stated, “Overall, a productive first day of practice. We had no major issues and we got through our test programme. Even though we’ve had three days of testing, there is always a lot to finalise when it comes to the race weekend, and today we worked on setup. It was also important to develop our understanding of the tyres in conditions that were colder in comparison to the test.”

“Oscar [Piastri] had a good session both on new tyres and long runs, while Lando couldn’t complete his single timed lap on the soft, which meant his position in the classification was not very meaningful,” Stella added. He expressed satisfaction with the data gathered and optimism for potential point-scoring in the next sessions.

Norris echoed this sentiment, admitting that while his timing on the sheets was not indicative of the true scenario, he felt an overall improvement in the car’s balance and comfort. Norris commented, “It’s been a reasonable day. I’m happy with how Thursday went overall. We made some progress with the car, there are still plenty of things to improve on, but we improved the balance and I got more comfortable, which is a good thing. I didn’t do a great job in putting a lap together, so it wasn’t a very representative day on the timesheets, but overall, a good first day and a good start to the weekend.”

In conclusion, despite the setback in FP2, McLaren maintains a positive outlook, drawing strength from the initial progress and focusing on fine-tuning their strategy for the remainder of the weekend. The team’s resilience and adaptability in the face of unexpected challenges underscore their commitment to maximizing their performance in the races ahead.

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