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Lando Norris Says Bahrain “A Good Sign” Despite Clear Weakness

“I think it’s clear there are still a lot of areas we need to focus on if we want to be more consistent and challenge," Norris said. ...

McLaren achieved their best result in Bahrain since 2021 with Lando Norris taking sixth and teammate, Oscar Piastri, grabbing eighth. It wasn’t perfect but considering the track is one McLaren cars have always struggled on, it’s a welcome result.

While McLaren were able to fight Mercedes the entire length of the race, the battle highlighted some of McLaren’s weaknesses. Mainly, low-speed corners.

That weakness, according to Lando Norris, is “no different to last year.”

“Those things we’ve not been able to tackle, other things which make us so up and down every weekend. It’s something I think that made us struggle so much today and the wind changed. Some corners just felt shockingly bad compared to yesterday.

“I think it’s clear there are still a lot of areas we need to focus on if we want to be more consistent and challenge.

“But considering it’s a track we struggle with still, the fact we’re so close to Mercedes is still a good sign for us that at some tracks we’ll able to be ahead. I’m confident, the team is doing a good job and it’s a good starting position.”

The battle with Mercedes was aided by the Mercedes’ engine overheating issue, though Norris still wasn’t able to overtake George Russell due to the turbulent air and finished under two seconds behind the Briton.

“We were close to Mercedes, I don’t think we had any advantage over them,” Norris said. “The pace was so similar that, as soon as I got into the dirty air, I didn’t have enough of an advantage to have a chance to overtake or even get within DRS.

“Maybe I could have been ahead of George, but that’s about it. I think we’re where we expect it to be and that’s just a good start to the season, so I’m happy with that.”

Norris was asked if things would improve further in Saudi Arabia whose characteristics should suit the McLaren. He was unsure.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Norris responded. “It’s a bit more high-speed, a bit more medium-speed, which normally suits us.

“But it’s also a track where you want to have a good front apex and this is something we don’t have at all, so there are still going to be things we’re going to struggle with a lot.

“On average, the track speed is higher, which maybe should suit us a bit more, so I’m excited for it.”

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