Lando Norris expands on the troubles faced by McLaren especially with the DRS in F1 Belgian GP as Andreas Seidl adds more on it.
It wasn’t a smooth run for McLaren in F1 Belgian GP as both drivers ended up outside the points, with Norris and Daniel Ricciardo part of the DRS train behind Williams’ Alexander Albon. There grand prix showed some lack of pace from the team’s side.
In fact, Norris accepted the pace and noted that they deserved to be in that position, where the race pace was just not there for them. “For now, we’re just where we expect it to be,” he said to media. “We’re always quicker on a Saturday than a Sunday. That’s just a fact.
“Everyone’s closer together on a Saturday than the Sunday. Maybe we take a slightly bigger step backwards on a Sunday than the other teams. It’s just because we always do very good jobs on Saturday. And I feel like I extract a lot out of the car on Saturday. A lot of other teams have much better cars and just don’t do as good of a job.
“But I don’t know. I could be wrong, I’m probably wrong. The car performed how we expected and our expectation was that it’s not going to be too good,” summed up Norris, who expanded on the struggle at Spa by Lap 3 onward already where he knew they were definitely down on pace against Alpine.
“Probably by lap three for some reason,” continued Norris. “Just because the tyres go off so quickly. It’s always been a little bit the case here in Spa. It’s because of the tarmac. It’s so aggressive after three laps the tyres just hit a cliff and drop. And running such low downforce, we get away with it in qualifying.
“But come the race, it makes my life extremely difficult. So maybe a little bit more downforce would have been a slightly better option. But it’s always hard to know that.” When asked about the progress if McLaren is making any on the low drag spec, where they lose out especially with the use of DRS, Norris feels they are missing something for fure.
“I think we were probably one of the quicker ones on the straights,” said Norris. “Where we lose a lot is in DRS, for some reason in DRS we’re pretty shocking. Some cars are a lot better than others, like in a pure straight line condition. In qualifying at Spa, we were quicker than Red Bull. But then the Red Bull opens DRS and gain somehow like another 15kph.
“Red Bull is in a completely different league to a lot of people. There’s something we’re maybe missing with DRS. That makes our overtaking opportunities less than other people. I don’t know. But in straight line, we were probably one of the quickest at Spa. In the final sector probably one of the quickest at times.
“But just slow speed, medium speed, high speed, nothing was a strength. We’re just a bit down in every area at Spa,” summed up Norris, who hopes that Zandvoort this time will be better for McLaren than last year where they struggled all-through.
“I mean, high downforce,” started Norris. “Hopefully, moves us a little bit more back in line with Budapest’s kind of pace, I hope. But you never know. It was our worst track last season. I’m hoping this year it’s not the case. Because some of the problems that we had in previous years are maybe not so evident this year, and we’ve got other problems. We’ll see. It can’t be a lot worse I hope than Spa.”
When team boss Seidl was put across the findings of Norris, the German wasn’t too worried while explaining that the car was losing out a lot out of Turn 1, which is why others were able to pass them or catch them fairly quickly.
“When we look at the speeds we were competitive,” said Seidl to media including FormulaRapida.net. “The biggest issue was the lack of traction out of turn one. And that’s why as I said before we were vulnerable to other cars: getting overtaken and at the same time we couldn’t overtake cars because we just didn’t get close enough at the exit of Turn 1 that we in terms of pure lap time in free air we would have been quicker.”
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