Norris: “MCL60 30 percent fixed — fundamental problems take time” to solve

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The McLaren team come into the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend with a pep in their step following their best finish of the season at the British Grand Prix last time out. The Woking-based team scored P2 with Lando Norris and a somewhat ‘disappointing’ P4 with Australian rookie Oscar Piastri. Be it only for an untimely pit stop before the safety car for Piastri, it may have been a double podium for the team on the up.

This is in stark contrast to only a few races ago where after the Miami Grand Prix Team Principal Andrea Stella spoke how McLaren were given a “reality check” by its very disappointing performance on US soil.

Since then McLaren have heavily upgraded their car and this was part of their ‘three race upgrade plan’ which started out in Austria, then Silverstone and now we will see the final elements of it this weekend with both drivers taking upgrades to improve overall race pace.

With the Hungaroring being vastly different in track layout and characteristics to Austria and Silverstone, all eyes will be on McLaren to see how their MCL60 performs in the low speed, high traction corners of this tight and twisty track.

During the British Grand Prix weekend, Lando Norris spoke out about his McLaren and says only 30 percent of the car is fixed and it still contains some major issues that need to be ironed out.

“It’s 70-30 – 70 percent not fixed, 30 percent fixed just by making the car quicker, adding load and having a better performance, so I think 70 percent at the minute. If we just had more load, more of it will be covered but it’s not the whole solution.”

Diving deeper into the cars issues, Norris spoke about how the car still has similar issues to what its predecessors have had over the last five years but also acknowledges that they are also close to the front.

“We’re not miles away on certain things”, said the 23-year-old Brit.

“It’s just some characteristics and handling that I would still say we’ve had as an inherent issue over the last five years, that we definitely still struggle with.

“There are still very good things that we’ve been able to carry through, such as high-speed performance but there are plenty of things to work on.”

Norris’s comments about the cars performance suggest that he is still driving around these issues, something that former teammate Daniel Ricciardo struggled with in his two-year stint with the team.

“If we really can tackle those bigger problems, which are more fundamental and not just by adding load, then I’m confident we can have a much more competitive car from race one in 2024, or this year. So there are plenty of good things but there are still some issues we know of and are trying to tackle, but it’s complicated, takes time.”

Finally Norris further adds that he believes they can be fighting for wins in the latter part of the season and into the 2024 season.

“Everyone’s working extremely hard and if we can make progress, as we made over the last few races with those certain things, over the next five, six months and into ‘24, I’m confident we can be a lot more competitive and fighting for some podiums and wins at some point.”

Photo credit: McLaren Racing