Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Norris has ‘problems to iron out’ before debut

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In the round-up: Lando Norris says his simulator work between the end of testing and this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix have been focused on improving his technique ahead of his debut.

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What they say

Norris was asked if he and McLaren are ready for the first race of the 2019 F1 season:

I think so. There’s tweaks and changes we’ve got to make to the car to be 100 percent confident. But those things that we have to change we’re confident or we at least know what the problems are [and] how to fix them. But it’s a matter of time whether we can get everything ready for for Australia. Which I think we can.

In terms of the car being ready we’re looking pretty good but I’m not going to say we’re going to finish every race this season. I can’t promise that. From what we’ve done we have had some problems but I think everyone has. But there’s been no crashes, no damage on the car, so from that side of things and parts I think we’re in a decent position.

From my side I’m ready to go into the race and deliver what I need to be able to deliver. But at the same time there’s things which I still need to improve on. I might get to Australia and those things are perfect and I fix them on the simulator, going through the data and everything between now and Australia. But I could get there and it’s a very different track – I can be comfortable [in testing] then get there and not be comfortable and be worse in some areas.

So I’ve just got to keep in my mind that it’s a very different circumstance, very different atmosphere when you get to the first race, a bit more pressure on, that I keep up the good things that I’ve done and I just work on the things that I’ve not been too great at. And make sure then I iron those problems out by the time we get to the first race.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

View this post on Instagram

Our first race victory marks a really important milestone for the team. Our President, Gildo Pastor, has put a lot of faith and trust in us and to have delivered this victory for him is a proud moment for all of us. Both drivers did a great job this weekend and the team capitalised on all the opportunities in the race. We were really lucky that we had the red flag so we could repair Felipe's car and credit to him for his fantastic recovery and P6 finish. We definitely benefited from others’ misfortune this weekend – but that’s racing. It can be brutal and we have had our fair share of tough moments already this season. Today is a very special day. I will be leaving Hong Kong one very happy Team Principal! #MadeInMonaco #ABBFormulaE #HKEPrix

A post shared by Susie Wolff (@susie_wolff) on

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Comment of the day

More F1 teams; Good in theory, flawed in practice?

Has there been any indication of any new teams, particularly manufacturer teams, showing any interest in joining the sport?

There’s no point in having an underfunded ‘start-up’ and until the new regulations and financial distribution arrangements are known, there’s no likelihood of any major new entrants.

Hopefully the new details when they finally appear may encourage some interest, but I’m not holding my breath.
DB-C90 (@Dbradock)

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 1967 Dan Gurney won the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in his Eagle-Weslake, ahead of Lorenzo Bandini’s Ferrari

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Norris has ‘problems to iron out’ before debut”

    1. I’d rather they not make any changes to Melbourne as the circuit is great as it is, Yes overtaking can be difficult but changing a circuit/corner just to create more overtaking nearly always results in a corner that is worse than what’s its replacing.

      I mean look at changes that have been made to other circuits to boost overtaking (Bus stop at Spa, Turn 10 at Barcelona, Variante Alta at Imola, Triangle chicane at Suzuka, 1st few turns at Nurburgring, Final corner at Magny-cource) They may have achieved the goal of a good overtaking zone but I don’t think any of them did anything but make those sections worse overall.

      And the last plans I saw in terms of altering Melbourne was tightening turns 11/12 which would certainly be a change for the worse as they are 2 of the best corners on the circuit.

      1. @gt-racer

        Will the drivers face issues this season actually attacking another car for more than 2-3 corners with the crappy Pirelli;s this season? Basically, are they still doing the crappy “thermal degradation”, where the tyres can’t even last a full quali lap without overheating and dropping off in performance?

      2. Agreed.

        Melbourne is difficult to overtake, no doubt about it. But the layout is actually quite spectacular to watch cars drive on. I wouldn’t want to see it changed.

        A good example of a ruined layout I think is Barcelona. The original had a beautiful flow to the second half of the lap:

      3. @gt-racer Fully agreed.

    2. Norris has an awful lot of ‘buts’ in his statement

      1. Because we are at the start of the season, wait a bit longer and they will become “ifs”

    3. I don’t understand the Ocon tweet, who is it to?

      1. @gongtong
        According to the dotted capital I, that’s a Turkish F1 fan who repeatedly lets Ocon know what he thinks about him.

    4. “Formula One has always been more of a manufacturer’s championship than a driver’s championship. If you’re not in one of the top cars, it’s tough mentally.”

      Says Marcus Ericsson as his teammate from last year managed to thoroughly beat him, mix in with the top teams in a worse car and graduate to one of them in the space of one season.

      1. @eljueta
        Yep, and that’s not the only aspect of the article that made me smile.
        There’s that plural in the title (“driverS”), ostensibly referring to drivers who stalled in F1 (but obviously deserved much better), but then it turns out the article uses the terms “F1” and “(drivers … who have raced at) some level in Europe” interchangeably. The former refers more or less one driver (Ericsson), but to a somewhat lesser extent also to Chilton (lost his seat in F1 over 4 years ago) and Rossi (had a handful of races 3 years ago). The latter includes no less than 11 drivers.
        Then there’s the fact that the “IndyCar series” is mentioned in the title, as well as Fernando Alonso in the article itself. But as of now, Alonso, whose F1 career has indeed stalled, has nothing to do with the IndyCar series. He’s taken part in the Indy 500 once and is going to return this year. Repeatedly taking part in one special race with the stated intention of winning it, isn’t quite the same thing as turning to the series as an alternative to F1, is it?
        And yes, there’s the obvious irony of a subpar driver complaining about not having a top car. He’s not wrong, the fact that even a great driver (such as Alonso) can only fight for midfield results in a midfield car is bad for the sport. But that’s not really what the article’s getting at. The article implies that the IndyCar series is teeming with disappointed ex-F1 drivers who would’ve had great careers if not for their bad cars. Which is a downright comical misrepresentation of the facts.

      2. @eljueta, mind you, the picture was perhaps skewed a little by the fact that, in certain races, the team implemented strategies that prioritised Leclerc at the expense of Ericsson. The Mexican GP was one example, where Ericsson was ordered to hold up other cars in order to allow Leclerc to build up a lead over the rest of the midfield pack, even though it ultimately hurt Ericsson’s race given he had to run a longer stint than he wanted to on worn out hypersoft tyres and then drop back into the queue of traffic that he’d had to back up behind him.

        It also has to be said that said teammate also had several years of preparation given to him by one of the most well resourced teams in the sport, and was always expected to be moved up into Ferrari in the longer term – it was simply going to be a question of when Kimi was going to go.

        It is not to say that Ericsson is on the same level as Leclerc, but it is to point out that there were a few other factors behind Leclerc’s success in the sport.

        1. 99% of your comments are a pure, unbridled joy to read. And then there is the 1% that is tainted by a painfully obvious Swedish bias. Not to take anything away from you, your highs are higher and your lows much shallower than most commenters’. But it does hurt to read them, by comparison.

          1. nase, “a painfully obvious Swedish bias”? That’s a new one given that I have absolutely no links with Sweden whatsoever – it is more of a case of disliking the way in which people tried to demonise drivers like Ericsson, so perhaps you could call it more like wanting to play devil’s advocate to public opinion.

            1. Welp, every now and then I manage to make an utter and complete fool of myself …

    5. Regarding CoTD, I couldn’t agree more. It would be great to have more teams, but the money payments from FOM from 2021 onwards need to be designed with 13 teams in mind.
      I believe that was the issue back in 2010. That system could only realistically sustain a 10 team grid.
      Right now the top 3 earn more than half of the billion dollars given to teams last year. Toro Rosso was the team that earned the least (50m$).
      There are ways to split the billion with all teams, making sure the team in last place (13th) still earns 50m$
      You give all teams 30m$ to each team for competing (390m$ in total). Then, you give 20m$ to the team who finished 13th the previous year, 23m$ to 12th, 26m$ to 11th… And so on. The champion would earn 58m$, but you can give them 2m$ as a bonus for winning. This sums up to 520m$.
      The remaining 90m$ will be used for bonuses to historic teams.
      Simple, more equal (which will result in better racing) and encourages new entries

      1. Won’t work, too logical.

    6. I thoroughly agree with the COTD.

    7. Both tiff and dario are correct. Because the cars don’t have much downforce they are slow in the corners which bunches them closer together. At 110kph the distance at 0.1sintervals between the cars is 3metres. At 160kph it is 4.4metres. Just the reduction in speed and downforce brings the cars closer. But at the same time the cars make very little downforce so there is also very little downforce loss when following other cars.

    8. BlackJackFan
      13th March 2019, 5:15

      Should we be worried that Nando’s frequent comments are not really very positive… and, at times, even negative: “I’m not going to say we’re going to finish every race this season”. So say nothing. Ultimately it’s a silly comment to make.
      It always seems to me he’s doing his best to try to be positive… It sort of worries me.

    Comments are closed.