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Lando Norris

Friday not true reflection of McLaren Monza pace - Norris

The McLaren driver finished the two practice sessions in seventh and second.

Norris Monza
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris believes Friday practice for the Italian Grand Prix has over-inflated McLaren's true pace for the weekend.

Norris finished seventh in the first session before claiming second to Carlos Sainz by less than a tenth in the second 60-minute session, with teammate Oscar Piastri fourth in the same session with both cars ahead of Max Verstappen.

McLaren was expected to struggle at Monza owing to the low-downforce settings of the circuit with that being a long-standing weakness for the team.

Despite going second on the time sheets, Norris feels the pace shown was down to the Soft Pirelli tyres and not a true reflection of the MCL60's pace.

Norris downbeat

"[At the start of] the day, the car did not feel so good," Norris explained.

"Really the only run where we looked competitive was the final run - and that makes us look very good.

"But I would say that we are not as good as what it looks and with the Medium and Hard tyres, we struggled quite a bit more.

"In the race runs, we struggled quite a bit more than we did on the one-lap Soft [tyre runs] - it is the C5 which provides a lot of grip for one lap, which is always a good thing for us as we need that little extra [boost] and it brings the balance closer towards us.

"It gives us almost what we wish we had from the car itself, but as soon as we lose that extra grip and we go to high fuel and different tyres, our performance decreases quite a bit.

"We took some good steps forward and made some improvements, but we are definitely still not in a competitive enough place.

"We have a few ideas on things to try and work on, and we took a good step forward between FP1 and FP2 - so maybe a bit more of that, even though it is not easy, a little bit more in that direction would be helpful."

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F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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