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McLaren explain major weakness to 2023 car

McLaren believe the Miami circuit confirmed an unwanted characteristic of their 2023 car, with both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri struggling for pace.

McLaren believe that their MCL60 2023 Formula 1 car suffered as a result of the low-grip conditions faced at the Miami Grand Prix circuit. The Woking team have fallen short of their expectations for the 2023 season, having originally targeted a P4 finish in the Constructors' Championship. With the season's frontrunners currently consisting of four teams - Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and now Aston Martin - McLaren sit joint-fifth in the Constructors' standings, alongside Alpine. However, the eight-time Constructors' champions have struggled for performance, and their current tally of 14 points was mostly accumulated at the chaotic Australian Grand Prix. Upgrades in Baku brought better qualifying performances and improved race pace, which appeared to signal an upturn in results, but the latest race in Miami brought the team crashing down to earth. In the US, the team were eliminated in the first part of qualifying and were unable to make progress in the race, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri finishing 17th and 19th.

When asked by RacingNews365.com about the performance drop-off, McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella pointed to the car's difficulty with low-grip conditions. "I think there's a trend emerging. This trend is that when the grip is high, our car gains competitiveness," Stella responded. "We think this trend is related to the fact that the lower the grip, the more you have to spend time off brakes and off throttle. This is a situation in which our car doesn't work very well. "In FP2, it was the highest point in terms of grip, because not only was later in the day, but it was also overcast, temperatures were low. The car was much happier and the drivers could attack. "If you attack the braking, then you minimise this phase in the mid-corner in which you roll out the brakes, out of the throttle, and immediately we gain competitiveness. "If we look at Baku, for instance, with the new tarmac this year, the grip was high and in all the sections where you can brake hard, short corners like Turns 1 and 2, we were competitive. Very short time off throttle, off brakes. "But if you see the castle section where you have to roll, we were not very competitive even in Baku. So, this is a trend, and this trend is important to understand because it leads the development direction as well."

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