The McLaren driver believes his team is not in an ideal position going into the new season
Lando Norris feels the Bahrain test has posed a unique set of challenges which his team needs to address. The conditions in Bahrain are completely different than what it was in the previous testing venue, Barcelona.
Norris states that the McLaren team has work to do with less than a week to go for the new season. The McLaren driver believes that gusty conditions in Bahrain indicate that all F1 2022 cars are sensitive to wind. Wind sensitivity has been an issue for most teams and it wasn’t clear if that would carry over into the new aerodynamic package.
McLaren are using the new MCL36 car for the season and Norris feels the team has learnt a lot about the car during the testing sessions.
“Definitely the cars are still sensitive to the wind. I think that’s a good thing we found it out here because Barcelona is not windy“, said Norris. The British racer further explained, “F1 cars are still sensitive to the wind and how gusty it can be and so on. The difference in track – it’s a lot hotter today than in Barcelona so there is a change in how tyres are working or the car is working.” Bahrain is the host country for the season opener and it’s crucial drivers and cars get acclimatized to these conditions.
“It’s a lot bumpier, so how the car is riding the bumps and performing over the bumps and the compromises you’ve to make with the set up are very different. So, I think all these things were tricky today. We have to try and understand and figure out – we’ll continue to do that in the next two days“, said Norris summing up his understanding of the conditions in Bahrain.
What’s in store for McLaren this season?
McLaren look one of the strongest teams this season. The team’s new MCL36 car looks in good shape as evident in pre-season running. The UK-based team have a strong drivers’ line up in Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris. Norris was one of the most impressive drivers in the sessions in Barcelona. Ricciardo and Norris completed a solid 365 laps in Barcelona which put them third in the mileage charts.
In the Bahrain test though, McLaren didn’t have an ideal outing. Daniel Ricciardo was down with Covid-19 which meant Lando Norris had to drive on all three days of the test. Norris clocked up just 200 laps as his team was severely hampered by braking issues. On the final day, Norris did have a decent outing, setting the ninth-fastest time of the field with 90 laps under his belt.
McLaren will be hoping things improve going into the new season. The team finished in 4th spot, earning 275 points in the 2021 Formula One World Championship. The team will definitely look to better their result from last year. There is work to do for McLaren before the season opener on March 20. The UK-based team will be looking to sort things out in time before the Bahrain Grand Prix.
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