F1 News: Lando Norris identifies key McLaren weakness

Jaden Diaz

McLaren entered the summer break with significant momentum, earning a handful of podiums and progressing hugely after significant updates. The British squad has been a revelation in F1 this year, but more recently, the news surrounding the team is increasingly complex.

A combination of factors resulted in a rather underwhelming result in Zandvoort, serving as a reminder of the hyper-competitive nature of the grid.

Making any drastic conclusions from one race is difficult, so Aston Martin’s podium with Fernando Alonso should be met with caution. Still, it is at least plausible that the AMR23 has overcome its worst spell of 2023.

Mercedes continues to have a strong package, despite a poor weekend operationally, whilst Ferrari managed to outscore the papaya team with a solitary race finisher.

In a post-race interview, the ever-candid Lando Norris addressed his areas of concern:

“A lot of it [race execution] was good – the pit stop for the second bit of rain was good, so some good things. Just the first one was a bad decision and cost us a lot of places.

“I couldn’t overtake half the time just because we were so bad in the middle sector…

“But I think the Mercedes was on another level compared to us today.

“Their tyre deg is always better, they have a good front end on the car, and that’s what we probably lacked on a day like today.”

Ultimately, hiccups were inevitable for McLaren after their rapid progress post-Austria. The team did fantastically to fast-track many of its updates, but this effort came at a cost.

A lack of different wing specifications – alongside relatively limited data for the updated MCL60 – are some of the biggest limitations.

These issues shouldn’t last for long, especially as the majority of teams begin work towards 2024. McLaren can find significant performance by optimising its package – rather than bringing new parts.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang