Lando Norris revealed what he thinks is the weakest point of this year’s McLaren F1 single-seater. The Briton already mentioned being satisfied with the race pace but he admits being worried about the qualifying pace of the MCL35M.
For the Formula One season opener in Bahrain, Lando Norris clinched an impressive P4, finishing three places ahead of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. This shows how good McLaren’s 2021 F1 car is in terms of race pace.
Nonetheless, Lando Norris admitted that the team has to improve their qualifying pace if they want to be able to fight for good points consistently. The 21-year-old thinks this weak point could be very problematic on tracks such as Imola or Monaco where overtaking is very hard.
“I think when you get to a track like here, a little bit more dependent on qualifying rather than the race, it might put us in a slightly more difficult position, one where we can’t overtake as easily on Sunday, we can’t have that pace benefit that we had on Sunday [in Bahrain],” said Norris.
“We were happy and we started the season off well, but we also need to know that we have weaknesses and things we need to work on, and sometimes they get highlighted at different tracks – and this weekend could be one of them. But I think we can still be positive and hopeful that we can make improvements and have made improvements since two weeks ago in Bahrain,” the Briton added, trying to keep it positive.
“Our qualifying performance was probably not our strongest point back in Bahrain.
“I think we did a good job and I think we were all quite happy with the performance we did and extracting the time and the speed out of the car. But just the position we were in was not as good as what we wanted.”
Like most of the F1 community, Lando Norris is therefore probably hoping for a rainy Grand Prix which could help him achieve unexpected results. If their race pace is strong enough, McLaren could even dream of a podium considering last year’s superb drive from Daniel Ricciardo that helped him seize a second podium with Renault.