Norris warns McLaren’s Silverstone pace ‘won’t happen that often at all’

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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McLaren are unlikely to replicate their strong performance from the previous race says Lando Norris, who scored their best result of the season so far two weeks ago at Silverstone.

Norris, who qualified and finished second at the British Grand Prix, said “we know it’s not going to happen that often at all” over the rest of the season.

A combination of the circuit’s characteristics suiting their car, plus the upgrade the team began to introduce two races ago, contributed to their result. His team mate Oscar Piastri finished fourth, and lost one position due to the timing of a Safety Car period.

“We enjoyed the moment, for sure, but we know we’re not competing for wins or even podiums, we weren’t close to that very often,” said Norris. “A lot of things went right for this to happen, even though we should have had a P2 and a P3.

“I think the confidence came from knowing that we took a good step in the right direction. I think that’s just when people gain confidence that we were able to improve the car in those areas. But I don’t think anyone’s got overconfident in any way. I hope not.”

The Hungaroring, scene of this weekend’s race, will suit the MCL60 less well than Silverstone did as cars spend more time in slower-speed corners than on straights. “No matter what the outlook of it all is, we’re not very good in the slow speed,” Norris said.

“I guess we’re not terrible if you look at… if you fully focus on slow speed, we’re not so bad. If you look at Monaco, we’re normally not too bad in Monaco. When you have to start to make compromises, there are much bigger wins for us by performing well in high-speed than focusing so much on the low speed.

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“So I guess we’re not bad here. If you look at last year, actually, it was not a bad weekend for us with a car that we struggled a lot with in the beginning of the season. So I still want to be hopeful, but I doubt it’s going to be as good as Silverstone because there’s no high-speed.”

Although Norris expects McLaren will be less competitive this weekend, he believes other tracks will expose more of their weaknesses.

“I don’t think it’s still the true test, I think there’s still going to be some tracks that are bad for us. I don’t think this is a bad track for us just because the Tarmac we have here is a grippy Tarmac. The corners, they’re quite long corners, which I would also say is not our strength, but even if you say it’s slow speed, it’s not super-slow speed.

“So I think we’re going to have bigger tests of how bad is it going to get in some other tracks that are going to be coming up. It’ll be a good test, mainly because there’s no high speed. I guess maybe you have turn four and turn 11. But I feel like there’s not the biggest differences between cars because it’s more of a medium-speed corner than high-speed.

“But it’ll be a better test of where we stand. I think the last two tracks have made us look better than where we stand over the longevity of a whole season.”

Piastri echoed his team mate’s view, saying the team’s chassis performs better than before but handles much the same.

“The car is obviously a fair bit quicker than what we had at the start of the season. I think it still has quite similar strengths and weaknesses that we’ve started to address but still need some more work. So the car doesn’t feel massively different, it’s not like it’s a completely different animal to drive now.

“So we’ll have our strong tracks. I think Silverstone with all the high-speed corners suited us quite nicely. Here is obviously a much lower-speed circuit so we’ll see how we go.

“I think we will try and be optimistic, that we can stay more towards the front but whether we’ll be fighting for a podium again, I’m not quite sure.”

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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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4 comments on “Norris warns McLaren’s Silverstone pace ‘won’t happen that often at all’”

  1. Probably, yes, but in any case, at least Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Suzuka, Losail, & LV (probably the third-fastest between Jeddah & Albert Park in overall order) should be good or okay for them because this quintet shares some similar features to Red Bull Ring & Silverstone, being among the ten outright-fastest current circuits, like the last two circuits.

    1. Yes, quite a few races where they should do well.

      And here in hungary aston martins absolutely have to perform, cause if they don’t their competitive spell is over, there’s almost no other track left which adapts to their features.

    2. Yes, quite a few races where they should do well.

      And here in hungary aston martins have to perform, cause if they don’t they will likely not be competitive any more, there’s almost no other track left which adapts to their features.

      Honestly don’t understand what the problem with this comment is.

    3. Apparently it’s not allowed to write the word o-v-e-r, have to use some synonim when a car is no longer competitive.

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