Norris finds freedom and faith in revamped McLaren
By Ian Parkes
Thursday 4th May, 2023 - 2:46pm
Lando Norris feels there is now a new-found freedom inside McLaren that has sparked renewed faith the F1 team will emerge from its troubled period.
After delivering a car at the start of the season that had failed to hit its development targets over the winter, CEO Zak Brown and new team principal Andrea Stella opted to make changes.
They resulted in the departure of technical director James Key, and movement of other senior personnel within a range of departments which have also been strengthened with new hires.
With the first of McLaren’s upgrades to its MCL60 delivering improved performance and a baseline on which additional updates will now be applied, there is hope results will improve.
Norris can certainly sense a change in momentum.
“Definitely everyone back at the factory seems happier, more optimistic,” said Norris.
“I know we’ve probably said that in the past at times, and it’s a bit of a repetitive game, but I have even more faith in terms of the ability, the new structure, and some of the new people we have.
“Everyone’s a bit more free and willing to try new things and take bigger steps and so on.
“So we have things coming, which are looking good, and definitely bigger steps than we had at the weekend.”
McLaren making the most of chances
They are certainly required if McLaren is to force its way into a picture currently dominated by four teams, with Red Bull comfortably ahead of chasers Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin.
At the last race in Azerbaijan, with the top-eight places in the grand prix occupied by the driver pairings from those teams, Norris was at least able to finish best of the rest in ninth following a miserable weekend for rivals Alpine.
It is clear for McLaren to make further progress, additional development is fast required, or alternatively crazy weekends such as those at Melbourne’s Albert Park at the start of April.
“Even when we have an amazing weekend it’s only P9,” assessed Norris.
“It’s hard to gain big points at the minute unless you have incidents like in Australia when you have a P6, and things like that.
“It’s so difficult to make the most of it. P9 is making the most of it. We’ll take it for now.”
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