Motorsports

Norris not discouraged by poor 2022 season for McLaren

McLaren finished third in the constructors’ championship in Norris’s first season with the team in 2020, before slipping to fourth last year.

The team is currently again fourth and battling with close rivals Alpine. However it is set to score far fewer points than last year.

Norris has scored 100 points thus far this year, and looks unlikely to match his personal 2022 total of 160.

Norris clearly committed to the team until at least 2025 based on its expected progress after an ongoing restructure, and with a new wind tunnel on the way.

However he insists that he didn’t expect to see a dramatic improvement in form in 2022, especially with the new regulations coming in.

“I don’t think it’s changed anything,” he said of the team’s apparently stalled progress. “I didn’t come into this season expecting us to be on the podium every weekend and fighting maybe not for top steps, but fighting for third and fourth and fifth. I wasn’t probably expecting that every weekend.

“So it’s always hard, especially when it’s a new car, new era of cars to know exactly what’s going to happen and people are always going to find much better solutions, like with Red Bull not porpoising and not bouncing anywhere near as much as other people, Mercedes with their car.

“There’s some big differences, so I think over the coming years things will shrink down and everyone’s going to get much closer.

“I guess you always feel a little bit disappointed when you just expect a little bit more than what you’re achieving.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Erik Junius

Norris says he still has faith that the team will make good progress in the next two years.

“It’s not just a me feeling, everyone in McLaren wants to win and wants to fight back, and make a lot of progress every weekend and every month and every season. I think everyone feels it, and everyone still has a lot of faith in the team.

“And everyone is working extremely hard to understand everything and trying to put in those steps that that we need to get back to where Ferrari are, and where Red Bull are, and where Mercedes are. So I don’t think it’s changed anything.

“I’m still looking forward to the future massively with McLaren. And yeah, there’s always going to be just tough places and tough parts of the season, or tough seasons, and this is one of them.

“It’s frustrating at times, because you feel like you put in some good laps and you feel disappointed that you’re only P6 or P10 or whatever it is.

“But I don’t think that changes or takes anything away from what I believe we can do in a couple of years.”

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