Lando Norris says McLaren's biggest weakness lies in their lack of straight-line speed and the ineffectiveness of their DRS.
After having failed to score points across the 2023 F1 season's first two races, McLaren had a better weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, with Norris finishing sixth and teammate Oscar Piastri taking eighth, vaulting McLaren up to fifth place in the Constructors' Championship.
But despite McLaren's better weekend, Norris noted the ineffectiveness of the MCL60's DRS, noting that other teams' designs did a better job of reducing drag and providing more straight-line speed.
"Our straight-line speed is so poor, I think not having DRS helps us," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"It still shocks us how bad we are with DRS, and how draggy we are when we open DRS.
"We gain a few km/h, but some of the other cars are gaining 10-15km/h, and it's a different ballpark to us.
"So Saturdays are a big weakness for us at the minute, especially with four DRS zones [at Albert Park], it's not in our favour in any way.
"But we understand it, and we're working hard to try to figure out how to make it better and more efficient."
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Norris downbeat on solution – "It'll be a while"
On the eve of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella revealed that the team had three major updates planned for the 2023 season, with each said to be providing several tenths of a second per lap, with the first update set to arrive for the next Grand Prix in Azerbaijan on April 30.
However, Norris cautioned that a solution for McLaren's lack of straight-line speed would not come quickly.
"It'll be a while before we can improve that too much," said Norris.
"We're trying, but it's difficult when it's so tough on Saturday, it makes life harder on Sunday.
"But when you have a day like [the Australian Grand Prix], it ensures the hard work pays off."
Balve Baines is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Australian Grand Prix.