Formula 1

Lando Norris Reveals McLaren’s Struggle with Wind Sensitivity in Bahrain GP, Remains Hopeful for Future Races

In a recent assessment, Lando Norris discussed the performance of the McLaren MCL38 at the Bahrain GP, pointing out both its strengths and weaknesses. Despite getting close to Mercedes, he emphasized the need for further improvements in the car’s wind sensitivity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Norris acknowledges the MCL38’s positive performance in Bahrain, but notes that wind sensitivity remains an issue. The McLaren team showed progress, yet still has significant areas to work on.
  • The Bahrain GP saw Norris finish sixth and teammate Piastri eighth, indicating an improvement from last year but still behind the team’s strong performance in the latter half of the 2023 season.
  • Norris is cautiously optimistic about the MCL38’s potential in upcoming high-speed tracks, despite uncertainties regarding its performance due to issues with front-end grip and wind sensitivity.

The opening race of the 2024 Formula 1 season saw McLaren demonstrate substantial growth compared to their performance at the same event in the previous year. Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri managed to hold their own against Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. This achievement is notable, considering the team’s struggle with the MCL38’s sensitivity to wind conditions.

Norris, in his commentary post-race, maintained a positive outlook despite acknowledging the challenges. “It’s no different to last year. Those things we’ve not been able to tackle, other things which make us so up and down every weekend,” he said. His remarks underline the inconsistency the team faces due to the car’s wind sensitivity, a factor that played a significant role in their performance in Bahrain.

“It’s clear there are still a lot of areas we need to focus on if we want to be more consistent and challenge,” Norris added, indicating that McLaren’s quest for consistency and higher performance is far from over. However, the proximity to Mercedes’ performance at the Bahrain track is a positive sign for McLaren, suggesting potential advantages in future races.

Regarding his own performance, Norris reflected on the limitations imposed by the MCL38. “The pace was so similar that, as soon as I got into the dirty air, I didn’t have enough of an advantage to have a chance to overtake or even get within DRS,” he explained. This candid admission showcases the fine margins that define racing at the highest level and the small yet crucial improvements that McLaren must make to contend more fiercely with their rivals.

Looking ahead to the upcoming race in Jeddah, Norris expressed mixed feelings. “Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a bit more high speed, a bit more medium speed, which normally suits us. But it’s also a track where you want to have a good front at apex, and this is something we don’t have at all,” he stated. His excitement tempered with realism highlights the ongoing journey McLaren faces in fine-tuning the MCL38 to compete at the forefront of F1 racing.

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