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  • Lando Norris Opens Up About Qualifying 'Struggles' With McLaren

Lando Norris opens up about qualifying 'struggles' with McLaren

Lando Norris, the McLaren driver, has provided insights into the challenges he faces during qualifying sessions in Formula 1.

Despite securing impressive grid positions in recent races, Norris feels he's not fully maximizing his car's potential.

During a media interaction at the Japanese Grand Prix, Norris reflected on his qualifying performances, expressing his difficulties in extracting the utmost from his McLaren. "Maybe qualifying is the one where I find it a little bit tough to get everything out of the car," Norris shared, highlighting a recurring theme.

When asked about the root cause of his struggles, Norris pointed towards the complexity of understanding the car, stating, "Things are always changing." He emphasized the evolving nature of McLaren's aerodynamics and the challenges of adapting to these changes.

Norris attributed part of his qualifying issues to the handling characteristics of the ground-effect era McLarens, which demand a different driving approach. 

"I've always been wanting to push quite a bit more... but I have to do the complete opposite," Norris explained, highlighting the need to drive within the car's limits.

Acknowledging his team principal's perspective on driving within the car's boundaries, Norris admitted the complexity of achieving the optimal performance. "I can’t even drive at 100%... It’s just a complicated thing – difficult to be on the limit," Norris elaborated.

The 24-year-old driver admitted his struggle to adapt quickly to the requirements of the ground-effect McLarens, contrasting them with older regulations that were easier to handle. However, Norris accepted it as his responsibility to adapt and improve his performance.

Looking ahead, the F1 Chinese Grand Prix awaits, marking the fifth race of the 2024 season. With only 60 minutes to acquaint themselves with the track before the Sprint qualifying session on Friday, drivers, including Norris, face a tight schedule to fine-tune their strategies for the race on Sunday, April 21, at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Norris's candid reflections shed light on the complexities of Formula 1 driving and the ongoing quest for peak performance amidst evolving car technologies and regulations.

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