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Norris: We a pretty terrible car, in slow-speed corners

Norris: We have a terrible car in slow-speed corners

Norris: We a pretty terrible car, in slow-speed corners
McLaren impressed with their new-found speed at Silverstone on Sunday but Lando Norris warned there would still be times when they looked painfully slow.

Norris finished second behind Red Bull’s runaway Formula 1 Championship leader Max Verstappen for the team’s first podium appearance in the 10th race of a season they started on the back foot. His McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri finished fourth.

“It was amazing to watch how good his car was in high speed,” commented Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished third after chasing Norris to the chequered flag. “That McLaren is a rocket ship. At high speed it was insane.”

Norris felt the aerodynamically upgraded Mercedes-powered car was indeed very competitive, and almost on a par with dominant Red Bull on the high-speed parts of the circuit.

“Towards the medium speed (areas) like Stowe, I would say we’re close to being the best car on the grid,” he said. “But we do have a poor car and I say poor, I would say pretty terrible, in the slow-speed corners. Extremely difficult to drive.

“We’re going to go to a couple of tracks coming up where I’m sure people are going to be saying, ‘What have you done now?’ Like, ‘How has it got so bad all of a sudden?’

“It’s just this track’s allowed us to look after the tyres nicely, keep them in a good condition. Simple as that. So a lot of it is track-specific,” the Briton pointed out.

McLaren moved up to fifth overall in the standings, ahead of Renault-owned Alpine who failed to score a point at Silverstone with two retirements. Ferrari are fourth and 98 points further down the road.

The podium was the team’s first at Silverstone since Hamilton in 2010

“I don’t want to get too excited, but good things have come from the upgrade,” said Norris. “But there’s still plenty of things which are miles away from, say, competing in certain places with a Mercedes and as a whole package competing even with a Red Bull. So a lot more work to be done from both of those areas.”

Team boss Andrea Stella said the indications were encouraging but McLaren had also surprised themselves by being able to keep ahead of Ferrari and Mercedes.

“I think we have to acknowledge that the improvement seems to be genuine here in terms of race pace,” said the Italian, who added that the cooler temperatures also helped with tyre management.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, he added: “The aerodynamic department have done an amazing job in terms of looking at all the parts of the car and the concept.

“They have been able to unlock a lot of performance. The energy in that department now is beautiful. When I need to have a break I walk in the aero department because it gives me such a good feeling.

“From aero to design to production and logistics, all the support functions – I want to praise all the men and women at McLaren. I hope everyone is enjoying this moment. Then, we will refocus and keep upgrading the car,” Stella concluded.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Additional reporting by GrandPrix247)