McLaren’s Lando Norris expressed his dissatisfaction towards his pace during the practice sessions at Hungaroring, stating that McLaren was at the back foot.
Norris trailed behind both Alpines, Pierre Gasly, and Sebastian Vettel in a dismal FP2, which saw the McLaren MCL35M struggle in the high temperatures. Norris was, however, more surprised by how the McLarens performed compared to other cars.
“I reckon it’s been one of our tougher FP2s. We’re not amazing normally in FP2 but we never struggle quite as much as this, the gap to Alpine was pretty big. So I think getting into Q3 is the main one, particularly as it’s a very qualifying-dominated track. Tomorrow’s the big day, so we’ll put all of our eggs into it right now,” Norris admitted.
“Alpine were very fast today, AlphaTauri were very fast today. Ferrari were maybe a little bit slower than we were expecting – I thought they’d be very fast here – so I don’t know. Even we were expecting to be a bit better.”
Despite Norris’ struggles, the Briton performed better than his teammate Daniel Ricciardo and the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Norris explained that at higher temperatures, the car becomes progressively trickier to drive.
“I think it’s not bad – I’m still lucky I’m driving a Formula 1 car – but when you’re into that you want to feel comfortable, you want to really push on the car, and in these kind of conditions you can’t really do that too much,” he explained.
“So it doesn’t feel too good, but we’re still there or thereabouts comparing to the competitors – it’s not like we’re a long way off the pace. We have some things to work on, some things to focus on, and we’ll try again tomorrow.”