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Norris claims McLaren 'unlucky' in turbulent start to season

McLaren was forced to wait until the third race in Australia before securing its first points of the season.

Lando Norris has insisted McLaren is "doing a very good job" and has put early-season struggles down to a lack of luck. The Woking-based endured a turbulent opening to the new campaign, sitting at the bottom of Formula 1's Constructors' standings after the first two races of the year with zero points. Norris was forced into six pit stops at the Bahrain Grand Prix with a loss of pneumatic pressure plaguing his chances as teammate Oscar Piastri lasted only 13 laps on his F1 debut before an electronics issues forced him into retirement. The Australian improved in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying to reach Q3 whilst Norris exited early when making contact with the inside wall at the final corner, with the misfortune continuing when debris from Piastri's front wing - fractured in contact with Alpine's Pierre Gasly - struck the front of the sister MCL60. A return to Albert Park proved fruitful, however, with both drivers securing points to provide promise for the entire team.

'Plenty of ups and downs'

“There has been plenty of ups and downs,” said Norris. “We have been pretty unlucky on the whole, but our strongest weekend has been Australia by far. Not necessarily on Saturday, but certainly on the Sunday. “We've learned that there are some good parts and some strengths to this car that we want to keep, but there are clearly some weaker areas that we are working on and focused on improving. “On the whole, the team are doing a very good job, we just need to keep up the level of effort we are putting in.”

“There will be some races where we are performing well and some where we aren’t as strong, so we’ll just take it one race at a time,” Norris added. “We just want to maximise every weekend, so we’re not looking at the bigger picture just yet, but I don’t think we need to do too much differently. I believe we are doing a good job, working very well as a team, and working very hard. “When we are struggling a bit more with pace, that is when we have to step up and do an even better job. It is about how everyone works together to get everything out of the car that is possible. “Everyone is doing a really good job, though, and they are all working as hard as they can. We're all really motivated because we know we have some good things in the pipeline for further down the line. Everyone is excited and working hard, and we will keep that up.”

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