Norris has “more confidence than ever” in McLaren F1 to deliver a car that is easier to drive

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Lando Norris is delighted with McLaren’s progress during the second half of the season as the MCL60 continues to get quicker.

The British team floundered throughout the opening phases of 2023 and suffered two point-less outings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to kick off the campaign.

Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Oscar Piastri and the Brit have all complained about how difficult it has been to drive the various McLaren packages over the last few years.

But Norris said his confidence in the team to make a compliant car to aid the drivers has grown this season: “After this year, I would say 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 would say I haven’t had that confidence because we’ve had it for the last four or five years.

“Now I would say I’ve got that confidence that we can make those next steps in making a quick car, but also making a car which then starts to suit me or us as drivers a little bit more.”

McLaren has developed into a regular front-runner after the summer break and delivered a double podium last time out in Japan.

Norris outlined the Woking-based team’s goals are to give the car an injection of raw speed as well as being less twitchy when on the limit, outlining this as an area where Verstappen and Red Bull hold a key advantage.

“That’s our next target with our development is still to make it a bit quicker, but also just to make the car easier to drive in different conditions.

“Both Oscar and my comments are still like, ‘you have to drive the car like this’. It’s on a knife-edge.”

The British driver also said that the MCL60 needs to be pushed to its maximum to be competitive, and states the car still lacks consistency.

“If you aren’t pushing to 100%, you’re just slow. I feel like we’re doing a good job finding that level, but it’s just very difficult.

“As soon as the conditions change to this, we either go one way or off this knife and then we’re just struggling a bit more. Finding that consistency is also our next target and I think that all ties together and that’s what we need to challenge against them [Red Bull].”

Norris concedes the team’s development hasn’t been swift enough with multiple seasons spent in the midfield. Now, things are starting to change because of the updates that has transformed the MCL60.

“I think we’ve got to a stage now we’ve got a quick enough car, we can now start to move things around a little bit.

“When you’ve got a slow car and you’re moving things around, the focus is in the wrong area. We need load, then driveability, rather than driveability and then load.

“But now we can move it around a little bit more. It’s been too long, I would say yes, in an ideal world, but those things happen.”