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Lando Norris

Norris prepared for McLaren sacrifice but expects fundamental change

Lando Norris impressed in 2023, despite not being able to drive the McLaren exactly how he wants to - and expects change for 2024.

Norris Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris feels McLaren's improvement in the 2023 season has given him the confidence to believe the team can finally address long-standing Formula 1 weaknesses.

After a slow start with the MCL60, earning just 17 points from the first eight races, an upgrade in Austria brought the team back into podium contention, before a further package in Singapore allowed the tea to be second best behind Red Bull.

Norris and team-mate Oscar Piastri rallied to finish fourth in the Constructors' with nine podiums and a Sprint win in Qatar, but both felt their ability to deliver with the MCL60 was hamstrung by long-term slow-speed weaknesses the team had not rectified.

Norris prefers to 'U' a corner, carrying more minimum speed, in the style of Jenson Button, but instead has been forced to 'V' corners in the McLaren, with a sharp turn-in to maximise the package.

However, while Norris has expressed frustration it had not been addressed, he believes the giant steps forward made in 2023 mean the team is ready to address the problems.

"For where we are, and for what we want to achieve, for what we've done in the season, before we've listened and really focused on the smaller details, and the small details make a big difference," Norris told media including RacingNews365.

"The smaller details are in terms of making the driver a bit happier rather than just making the car quicker, but as I have said, I'd rather a quicker and trickier car to drive than vice versa with a slower but nicer car to drive.

"[The target] is to make the car a bit more driveable, a bit more rounded, and that the hardest task to achieve, because it is so difficult to do without compromise.

"It's such a difficult thing to have a good front end, but then not to be too strong on the exit because the rear needs to be better.

"It's a juggling act rather than just adding things everywhere, and that juggling act is very difficult to achieve.

"It is tough, but do I have confidence in it? Yes, after this year, I have more confidence than ever that the team can look into these things that we want as drivers and actually start to chip away at them.

"Over the past few years, I wouldn't say that I haven't had that confidence because we've had [the problems] for four or five years.

"Now I would say with confidence that we can make those next steps to make a good car, but also making a car that starts to suit us as drivers."

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