McLaren brought a major upgrade to the MCL60 for Singapore, and Team Principal Andrea Stella joked that lizard invading the track didn’t ruin the team’s Friday practice session.
McLaren have bolted the full upgrade package on Lando Norris’ car, with some bits only given to Oscar Piastri, and that was evident by the difference between both drivers as Norris was fourth in FP1, sixth in FP2, while Piastri was 19th in first practice session, 15th in the second.
Piastri will also be dealing with the challenge of getting to learn the Marina Bay Circuit, as it will be the first time the Australian rookie races there.
Summing up Friday, Stella said in McLaren‘s team report: “Lizards aside, it’s been a smooth first day in Singapore for both sides of the garage.
“We were able to complete the programme we had planned, which was centred around testing new aerodynamic parts and understanding tyres for the race. We’re happy with the data collected. I would like to thank the team back at the factory and here trackside for the efforts that led to testing this upgrade, which has been adopted on Lando’s car this weekend.
“In terms of competitiveness, some cars look pretty quick, but we will try our best to be in the mix for good points. Oscar is doing a good job finding his feet at what is a new track for him, improving run by run. More to come tomorrow,” the Italian concluded.
The upgrade is a nice improvement
Norris, who was sampling McLaren’s upgrades this weekend, was featuring in the sharp end of the standings, he added: “I think it was a reasonable Friday.
“It was good to get the new bits on the car and everything’s looking positive from that side at the minute. It’s a nice improvement from what we had. I think it’s done everything that it should have done, so a good job by the team to get the upgrade here and for it all to work as it should.
“I think the pace is reasonable, we might not be as good as Ferrari, but we’re in a good fight for a good position otherwise,” Norris concluded.
Piastri added: “First day in Singapore done. A lot of learning. It’s a tricky circuit and I think we’ve got some work to do on the car and some work to do on the driving as well, but I definitely learned a lot.
“I think we’re in better shape with more experience for myself, but still a lot to go over ahead of tomorrow,” the Aussie concluded.