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"There's going to be pain," admits Norris

NEWS STORY
21/03/2022

Following a difficult start to the season, Lando Norris feels McLaren are going to face a lot of pain before things start improving.

While some still insisted that certain teams were sandbagging in pre-season testing, from the moment the cars hit the track on Friday it was clear that they were not.

Though improvements had been made, it was clear that some teams still had issues.

Having suffered various issues, most notably brake cooling, McLaren expected to start the season on the back foot, but surely nothing could have prepared the Woking outfit for the reality.

Neither made it into Q3 on Saturday, Ricciardo not even making it into Q2, while come the chequered flag the papaya cars were running 14th and 15th.

Adding insult to injury, last season's no-hopers, Haas and Alfa were both in the points, the Italian team doing it with both of its cars.

Echoing Max Verstappen and Christian Horner, team boss Andreas Seidl described his team's race as "disappointing and painful", his only comfort being that the MCL36 had finally completed a race distance.

However, it is clear the team's issues will not be a quick fix.

"I'm expecting pain," admitted Norris, "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," he continued, "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," he added, "but we have to remain optimistic that the team and everyone back at MTC can figure things out and we can get back on track.

"I'm hoping this is as bad as it gets... might not be... could be, there's a lot of time... we still have a whole season of development and figuring things out.

"Of course, difficult," he admitted. "I'm sure it looked as bad as it felt. 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."

"It's hard to really know coming into the start of the season, with a new era, what to expect," added teammate Ricciardo. "You can hope that things will be good but it's obviously a slow start for us. But I believe there's only one way up from here and that's forwards.

"Obviously starting from pretty much the back we knew it wouldn't be an easy race, and we had some challenges," he continued. "But I'm glad we got the race distance in, especially for me, it's really the first race distance I've done.

"So just to learn the car more, feedback to the team, I tried every compound as well during the race, just some interesting things to feel and also some places where I thought the car was good.

"Overall, obviously we still have a few more weaknesses than strengths, so I'll just try and give that info to the team and try to assist them as much as possible now. That's all we can do.

"We'd love to be up on the podium, but we're obviously a long way from that. But the only way to improve is to work together and address as much as we can in the most efficient way possible."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by alvarezh3, 22/03/2022 1:25

"@ Bill Hopgood

I have a couple for you:

It's easier to make a pretty fat woman skinny, than a skinny ugly woman pretty!

It's easier to take the man out of the ghetto, than the ghetto out of the man!

G'day! :-)"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 21/03/2022 18:27

"Dang.
Even if McLaren find the reasons behind the issues they have it will take at least until the races based in Europe before any meaningful changes can be applied to the cars.
On top of that there is the budget cap and as @kenji has said, time is always against the teams.
Worryingly, it is easier to make a fast car reliable rather than a reliable car fast.
What the drivers and leaders need to do is be straight up about the situation to the fans yet inspirational to the folks that are working to resolve the issues."

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3. Posted by Defiant, 21/03/2022 16:38

"This makes me :( I hope they recover quicker than Lando is fearing."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Wokingchap, 21/03/2022 10:54

"Come on Woking, you can do it we all know that..... blo9dy good luck."

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5. Posted by kenji, 21/03/2022 7:16

"What a devastating start to the season. I, like lots of others, felt that after the initial Barca testing that MCL had the basis of a very good car, a viewpoint supported by quite a few 'pundits'. A false dawn. Personally I felt quite gutted to see 'my' driver running almost last for a great deal of the race. MCL are not without the tools to improve but anything deeply seated will take a good deal of time and that's a very scarce commodity in any annual race program. You need to get the points in early and that's exactly what my second pick has done. Watching DR at times was excruciatingly painful as the car just didn't seem to respond at all especially in the slow corners. I shall remain optimistic though and see where it all leads....hopefully in an upwards trajectory."

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