Lando Norris, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

McLaren’s slow corner weakness leaves Norris “scared of turn one” at Spa

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In the round-up: Despite McLaren’s recent upswing in form, Lando Norris is wary some corners at Spa-Francorchamps will highlight their car’s weaknesses.

In brief

Norris wary ahead of Belgian Grand Prix

Norris’ second place finish at Silverstone showed how strong the upgraded McLaren MCL60 was on a high-speed track, and last weekend he followed that up with another second place at the high-downforce Hungaroring.

This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix takes place at Spa-Francorchamps, another high-speed venue that should suit McLaren. But Norris is wary some corners will expose the MCL60’s shortcomings.

“I think it’s still clear that we’ve got some weaknesses and those weaknesses are going to show in certain places,” he said. “Even in Spa we’re going to struggle in certain places even more, like turn one. I’m already scared of turn one in Spa.”

F1 Academy increases its F1 branding

All 10 Formula 1 teams’ liveries will appear in the all-female Formula 4-spec F1 Academy series next year.

F1 has coordinated the deal to nominate 10 of the 15 drivers on next year’s grid to run in the colours of F1 teams. The 2024 season will take place exclusively on the support bill of F1 grands prix.

The other five drivers, even if they are F1 juniors, “will be supported by other partners” when it comes to their car liveries, said the series in a statement.

Abel Motorsports hands Indy Nxt debuts to two drivers

Abel Motorsports will expand from one to three cars for the next Indy Nxt round on the streets of Nashville.

The team has signed USF Pro 2000 graduates Francesco Pizzi and Yuven Sundaramoorthy on part-time deals. Both will race in Nashville and at the double-header Laguna Seca finale, Pizzi will race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course and Sundaramoorthy will race at Portland, which means he misses the USFP2000 finale.

Pizzi – previously of FIA Formula 3 and a Formula 4 champion – is currently sixth in the third-tier series with a pole and a podium, while Sundaramoorthy is 14th in the standings.

McLaren reveal AI livery

McLaren Formula E livery for 2023 London EPrix

McLaren are running a one-off livery for this weekend’s Formula E season finale in London, which they claim is the world’s first livery designed using artificial intelligence computing, as part of the team’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Using input from their races drivers Jake Hughes and Rene Rast plus four others, a brief for the design was created which “with the help of AI, we turned into the world’s first livery designed using generative AI,” said the team in a statement.

“We inputted the six visions into a text-to-text AI, where we asked for prompts for an image AI. These prompts were then put into a text-to-image AI, which produced six individual artworks, one per vision, that were then combined into one single piece of artwork by an image-to-image AI.”

Carlin get another new face in F3 line-up

Rodin Carlin has signed Euroformula race-winner Francesco Simonazzi for the last two rounds of the FIA F3 season.

The 19-year-old takes the place of Max Esterson, who was signed for two rounds after Hunter Yeany lost his seat after a points-free first five rounds of the season.

Simonazzi is currently fourth in the Euroformula standings with one win, and last year he took a win en route to sixth in the F3-level championship. In Euroformula he has picked up plenty of experience at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, the two tracks he will race at in F3.

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Comment of the day

The Hungaroring paddock was full of talk about AlphaTauri through the weekend. Were they right to sack Nyck de Vries after just ten grands prix? Was Daniel Ricciardo going to struggle as his replacement? And if did do well, what would this mean for team mate Yuki Tsunoda and even Red Bull’s Sergio Perez?

Ricciardo did beat Tsunoda in qualifying and the race, but is one event enough to draw conclusions from? And was ten events even enough to truly merit if F1 newcomer de Vries was up to the job?

I think Nyck’s biggest problem was just expectations. He’s a FE champion, he’s older and experienced, and his one run in the Williams was amazing. Red Bull brought him in not as a rookie to be nurtured, but as a hired gun to deliver results right from day one.

And when you are brought in as a hired gun, you don’t last long if you aren’t delivering.
Gary Simmons

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Spud and Mikef1!

On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Paul Tracy won round 11 of the ChampCar series at Vancouver

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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6 comments on “McLaren’s slow corner weakness leaves Norris “scared of turn one” at Spa”

  1. It’s La Source, Orlando. Not “turn one”.

    Maybe TheOneShow should stick a load of banknotes onto their smug BBC publicity shot to represent the licence fee.

  2. Yellow Baron
    27th July 2023, 1:23

    Pioneering work from McLaren using AI to replace a human being. They rightfully seem excited about it too.

    Wonder if they also prompted the AI that they need to save weight considering the largely black livery.

  3. So he’s wary about getting passed into Les Combes on the opening lap regardless of starting position.

    R.I.P. to the person who fatally died on Mount Panorama Circuit roads.

    Great full FE car replica.

    COTD: General racing experience indeed proved against him in the end.

  4. Looks about as bad as you’d expect from AI generated stuff. I hope the regular human designers at McLaren have marched into Zak’s office to demand job security, because it’ll be hard to support a team running that eyesore.

  5. I’d love to see some more short ovals added to Indycar as i think the racing on those circuits can be fantastic.

    However i would also love to see them return to a Super Speedway such as Michigan as the racing on those was always spectacular.

    I would just love to see Indycar return to the real diverse mix of all different styles of circuits seen back in the CART days.

    Also please bring back Cleveland! For such a short and relatively simple looking track it always produced fantastic racing and was really challenging.

    1. Ah, Burke Lakefront Airport! There are about twenty different lines into turn 1, great fun to watch!

      As to the ‘AI’ paint job – if that was done by a human he/she would be fired. I guess if you can say ‘AI’ that makes it great….

Comments are closed.