“Exciting” F1 upgrade to improve lower speed performance arrives for Norris and MCL60 in Singapore

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Photo Credit: McLaren Racing

McLaren have made some very visible progress with their MCL60 in recent months thanks to updates. Although not without its weaknesses still, they’re in a far stronger place than we saw at the opening race in Bahrain last spring.

The Woking outfit made a huge step forward at the Austrian Grand Prix and then a few smaller steps elevating Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to a point where at certain circuits they were able to fight for (and achieve in Norris’ case) podium places.

Like any Formula One team worth their salt of course, McLaren are not content to stop there, and at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street circuit we shall see the next evolution for the MCL60. For now at least, this will primarily be for the benefit of Norris’ car, just like the first slew of upgrades the team rolled out in Austria, while teammate Piastri shall receive the full compliment of new parts in time for the trip to Suzuka next week as Norris explained in his media session on Thursday:

“The team have worked hard to get it on one of the cars here, and then we’ll have the rest in Japan too. So it is an exciting couple of weekends for us.”

The main focus of this slew of new parts will focus, according to Norris, on the low speed performance of his machine and reckons it should be a big step forward once again.

“Probably, since Austria, it’s the thing that we believe will help us move forward the most since then…but obviously we’ve not run it on track yet so we don’t want to say too much until we’ve actually got it to work properly.”

Given the success the previous upgrades had for the team – delivering the British driver to two second place finishes this summer – he is optimistic about what sort of performance the new parts can bring to the table:

“Definitely up to Austria and how much we kind of progressed since then, it gives me more hope….It’s also a bit more slower speed biased, which is a bit different to what we had in Austria. This is our first time we’ve been able to really try to target that a bit more.”

The 23-year-old did explain however that it will not cure an aspect of the MCL60 that it is retained from last season, in that it is not always the most comfortable or confidence inspiring car from a driving point of view – something Daniel Ricciardo notably struggled with last year.

“It is just performance enhancement, it’s not like something to make me feel better in the car.”

Photo Credit: McLaren Racing