“It’s nothing close to it” - Norris rejects claim that McLaren is in “crisis”

Lando Norris has refuted suggestions that McLaren is in a “crisis” following their poor start to F1 2023.
“It’s nothing close to it” - Norris rejects claim that McLaren is in “crisis”

McLaren endured a miserable season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix as Norris finished well down the order in 16th following a recurring technical issue, while Oscar Piastri’s F1 debut ended prematurely with a retirement.

It means for the second season running McLaren have started the season without a points finish.

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Even so, Norris remains optimistic about McLaren’s chances at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I would say so, we should have been in the top 10 in Bahrain if we didn’t have issues,” Norris said in Thursday’s FIA press conference. “We hope to make up what we’ve lost.

In terms of pace, we have a lot of work to do. We should have at least had a fight with Alex Albon, he was just ahead of me.”

Norris was then asked if McLaren were in a “crisis” following their turgid start in Bahrain, he replied: “It’s far from that. Oscar’s problem was an issue, the first time we’ve seen it, we’re confident it is fixed. My issue? Mercedes are sure that they’ve fixed that. Both were rare issues. We are confident they are fixed.

“Everyone makes it sound a lot worse than it is - calling it a crisis? It’s nothing close to it. We’re confident we can get points. We can be in that fight, we aren’t far away. We made it clear early on that we’re far from where we want to be. But we have a very clear plan. It is clear what we want to achieve.”

The good news for McLaren is that they have a significant car upgrade on the way for Azerbaijan at the end of April.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Qualifying
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1,…

Norris believes McLaren take take inspiration from Aston Martin and the gains they’ve made since 2022.

“Infrastructure always helps but we should be doing better now, with what we have,” he added. “There are things you can achieve in the season, but it’s harder than during the winter. But these aren’t huge changes - it’s not a car or a philosophy. What we have on track and in the wind tunnel is correlating. 

“Sometimes you need to be patient. There is nothing Aston Martin are doing that we are not, in terms of what we want to achieve.”

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