Norris expects more “pain” for McLaren after point-less Bahrain F1 GP

Lando Norris is expecting more “pain” for McLaren after making a terrible start to the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL36.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL36.

Norris could only manage 15th at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, one place behind McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

At one stage, Norris and Ricciardo were running in 18th and 20th respectively as they started on the unfancied medium tyre compound.

Speaking after the race, Norris said: “I’m expecting pain, and I think everyone needs to know there’s probably going to be a bit of pain. 

“As McLaren, and myself, we expect a lot more, but it’s not what we have at the minute, we have to get used to it, we’ve been in this position a few years ago but we have to remain optimistic the team and everyone back at MTC can figure things out and we can get back on track.”

As McLaren looks to return to form later in the season, Norris conceded that the team has to “start fresh” to turn it around.

“I’m sure it looked as bad as it felt,” Norris added. “This is where we are, quite simply, we just have to get a little bit used to it now. Of course, over the last few seasons there’s been a lot of expectation from us within the team but also everyone else watching and we just haven’t got it right at the minute. 

“We’re a long long way off, not a little bit, a long way. we’ve got to start fresh, figure things out, find solutions. Solutions don’t mean next week we’re going to be amazing but in months to come we need to understand what’s going on here and how to get better.”

In complete stark contrast to recent years, Mercedes appears to have taken a step back with its power unit.

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL36.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL36.

For 2022, all engines must run with E10 fuel which is understood to be one of the reasons why Mercedes-powered teams struggled in the season-opener.

Despite Mercedes' apparent downturn in performance, Norris didn't want to blame McLaren's engine manufacturer.

“If we complain about that we still have a Merc in third and fourth,” Norris explained. “I mean it’s definitely not helping, we’re definitely lacking in that end compared to the other guys, but I mean I saw some other problems, reliability is good, that’s a positive. 

“But simply just our car, we’re a long way down on downforce, the handling is very poor, it’s a tricky car and tricky tyres to optimise and when you just don’t have the downforce you can't get the tyres working well and get everything in a good window, you’re understeering, oversteering, just more things going on, I think that’s the problem, we need less things going on, we need more rear, more front, just downforce really. Sounds simple but obviously complicated to figure it out.”

Read More