Norris airs frustration at Pirelli and McLaren DRS

Lando Norris has heavily criticised F1 tyre manufacturer Pirelli and the DRS on his McLaren

Lando Norris has heavily criticised F1 tyre manufacturer Pirelli and the DRS on his McLaren

Lando Norris has urged Pirelli to deliver a tyre that provides better grip after pointing an accusing finger at the F1 tyre manufacturer in the wake of the mayhem witnessed at the end of the Australian Grand Prix.

Norris has also heavily criticised the DRS on his MCL60 which he claims is “a big weakness” and playing a major contributing factor in his poor Saturday displays.

At Melbourne’s Albert Park, Norris qualified a lowly 13th, finishing 0.348s outside of a place in the top 10, with the British driver primarily attributing the gap to the lack of performance from his car’s DRS.

“I was sort of shocked at how bad we are with DRS, and how draggy we are when we open the DRS,” said Norris.

“We gain, I guess, a few k (kilometres per hour) but some of the other cars gain 10 to 15. It’s a different ballpark to us.

“Saturdays are our big weakness for us at the minute, especially because we’ve poor DRS. It’s not in our favour in any way.

“We understand it, and we’re working hard to try and figure out how to make it better and more efficient.

“But it’ll be a while before we can improve that. We’re trying but it’s difficult when it’s so tough on Saturday. It makes our life hard on Sunday.”

Norris bemoans “no grip” soft rubber

At least Norris managed to break his and the team’s points duck in Melbourne with a sixth-place finish.

Team-mate Oscar Piastri also scored his first points in F1 as the Australian finished two places further back.

Both positions were a combination of skilful driving and good fortune given the chaos that unfolded throughout a race that had three red flags and restarts.

The latter two were within the final four laps and resulted in Norris suggesting F1 and the FIA were ‘putting on a show’ rather than considering driver safety, particularly with the incidents that unfolded after the final restart.

Norris also feels Pirelli should shoulder part of the blame for providing a soft tyre that was unable to deliver sufficient grip once they had been fitted during the last red-flag period.

“We have a soft (tyre) on at 65 degrees and I can’t describe how little grip there is on track,” said Norris, referring to what he encountered at Albert Park.

“It’s not a bad temperature but the tyre doesn’t work. I can’t describe how bad the grip is. That’s why you saw everyone going straight on into Turn One and locking up.

“But it’s 65 degrees and a soft tyre and it provides literally no grip, so you have to brake so early which causes chaos and causes incidents.

“If the tyres felt like they gave us some grip, I think you’d be able to see a good race without chaos and some clumsiness and things like that, but it’s just difficult.

“I wouldn’t say it’s just clumsy from everyone. You’re racing and there’s no grip, as simple as that.

“So we need a tyre which gives us some more grip, a tyre that feels like it should be on a Formula 1 car at the top of motorsport, and at the minute, (like in Melbourne), it feels pretty terrible.”

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