Lando Norris has highlighted a positive for McLaren to take from their difficult start to the 2023 F1 season.
The squad have yet to score points after challenging weekends in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, with both Norris and Oscar Piastri retiring from the former with mechanical issues.
While each driver finished outside of the top 10 in Jeddah – with Norris having picked up debris from a first-lap incident between Piastri and Pierre Gasly – Norris feels that the situation is not as bad as it may initially look for the team.
Norris on McLaren's situation in 2023
"I don't think it's different to last year," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"In a way, it's a little bit better than last year, [but] the field is tighter.
"We've just had more issues, more reliability problems in race one. It was my mistake [in qualifying in Saudi Arabia], and the incident with Gasly cost us [in the race].
"It's not as bad as what it looks, I would say for sure. We're not quick, that's the honest answer. It's just close, so I think it's punishing when things don't go your way."
When asked if the reliability shown in Saudi Arabia is a positive for the team, Norris said: "Yeah, we both made it to the chequered flag, so [that's] rule number one."
Viewed by others:
Can McLaren improve in Australia?
In terms of whether he hopes for better at the upcoming third race on the calendar in Australia, the Briton admits that there may not be a huge change in the team's fortunes.
"I'm not going to hope for worse!" Norris commented.
"I don't think many things are going to change. We'll do what we can to make some improvements.
"[We'll] continue working as hard as we are. Just don't make a mistake in qualy this time and the result will be different."
Join Balve Baines, RacingNews365.com journalist Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken, Editorial Director of RacingNews365.com, to discuss the key talking points ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.