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Lando Norris

McLaren reveal ‘hypothesis’ for Norris qualifying mistakes

Lando Norris enjoyed one of his strongest seasons in Formula 1 this year but was frustrated by several qualifying mistakes in the latter stages of the campaign.

Norris Las Vegas
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has revealed a “hypothesis” for the qualifying mistakes that Lando Norris made in the latter stages of the season.

The Briton was frustrated with his one-lap performances at several events towards the end of the campaign.

At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Norris complained that he was doing a “s***” job on Saturdays as he felt a mistake cost him another high-starting position on race day.

The 24-year-old was particularly vocal in Qatar as he felt mistakes in both the sprint and Grand Prix qualifying sessions denied him a duo of pole positions.

Norris even expressed disappointment with his lap during sprint qualifying in Brazil, which was the fastest of the session.

The 13-time podium finisher admitted that the MCL60 car wants to be driven in a style that differs from his natural inputs.

Stella asserted that there may well be a deeper technical reason behind the batch of mistakes in the second half of the year.

"That's an interesting topic,” he told media including RacingNews365. “It's not an easy one to describe with some good engineering behind it. It requires a bit of interpretation.

"It's often difficult to understand where is the driving element, and is there an engineering element? Is there a characteristic of the car that just makes it so peaky, so unpredictable, in some circumstances?

"Certainly, in our debrief, we [discovered] the fact that recently, we have had some driving issues that look to be more frequent than normal.

"So is there anything that we need to look into - not the famous McLaren characteristics, but in this development, which certainly gave grip, have we embedded some elements that possibly [mean] the car is just losing too much grip too rapidly in some conditions?

"This is a hypothesis. It's nothing to do with evidence, but you kind of work by hypotheses, so that you can look into the data, look into the information with a key.

"And that's certainly a key that we will be using in the coming days to look into what are we learning from these situations."

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