Norris optimistic about McLaren’s F1 prospects ahead of 2024: “I’m confident we can have a very good car”

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Lando Norris is anticipating radical changes to the McLaren Formula 1 car ahead of the 2024 season.

McLaren’s upgrades improved the car significantly throughout 2023, and meant they were Red Bull’s nearest challengers in Japan and Qatar.

“I expect almost bigger changes than we’ve had over the last year,” said Norris.

Norris is positive about his and McLaren’s chances heading into the upcoming campaign. The British team took a sizeable step forward halfway through last season, snatching fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship from Aston Martin.

He believes the fine details are critical in making big inroads: “Some small things can make a big difference. If we can work on that, then I’m confident we can have a very good car next year.

“A more consistent car is really the main thing that we’re looking for.”

Last season’s McLaren MCL60 suffered from a lack of top speed and aerodynamic efficiency, particularly at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, where the car excelled through the twisty sections of the middle sector, but was painfully slow down the straights.

Norris reaped the rewards of McLaren’s upturn in form, scoring seven podiums in the final 14 races of the season.

Lando Norris celebrating on the podium
Image credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre

The 24-year-old led his home race at Silverstone for the opening few laps and delivered four consecutive podiums from Singapore to the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

Norris said he feels the Woking-based team are better equipped to focus on the specifics now that McLaren have a better baseline to work from.

“I feel like we’ve been in a place now more than ever where we can tackle more things at once. If you’re still last, you try to focus a lot more on one thing, just making the car a little bit quicker.

“Now I think we’re in a much better position that we can focus on some of the finer details. The details, we’ve not been able to improve much at all over the last five years.”

The McLaren driver has spent his five-year F1 career honing his highly adaptable driving style and is hoping to see more updates on the car that would enhance his driving.

“The things that I would love to have more of as a driver and would I think to suit me more as a driver is trying to work on those things.

“I think now we’re more capable than ever of trying to focus on them and improve them. That will help with qualifying, will help with race pace, will help with racing.”

Round 1 of the season kicks off on the 2nd of March at the Bahrain International Circuit, a season that sees the Chinese Grand Prix return to Formula 1.