As anticipated, Australian driver Oscar Piastri will have the opportunity to pilot an enhanced McLaren car during the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone. This follows the successful validation of the changes made to the MCL60 by his teammate Lando Norris at the recent Austrian Grand Prix.
During the race in Austria, only Norris had the chance to test the new developments introduced by McLaren on the MCL60, and they proved to be highly effective.
Positive Signs Emerge for McLaren
Lando Norris shared his thoughts with Sky Sports following the race at Albert Park, highlighting the encouraging pace displayed by McLaren. Speaking about the team’s performance, Norris expressed satisfaction with their strong showing and emphasized the importance of avoiding incidents caused by erratic drivers.
“The pace was strong for the majority of the race, and I managed to make good starts while steering clear of any damage. It’s quite a task to prevent those who are somewhat reckless from making mistakes and colliding with others. Not the easiest challenge,” Norris remarked.
He further mentioned his successful overtakes on Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hülkenberg, emphasizing that it was a race where everything came together, leading to a positive outcome.
“I’m happy with that!” he added.
Challenges Arise with DRS System
Norris firmly believes that McLaren’s occasional lack of pace can be attributed to the inadequacies of their Drag Reduction System (DRS).
“We struggle a lot with DRS… When we activate the DRS, it doesn’t provide the speed boost we expect. Conversely, the majority of other teams gain more speed,” he explained.
Additionally, Norris pointed out that the slow out-lap contributed to the crash during the second restart.
“The out lap is remarkably slow during restarts, making it challenging to bring the tires up to the correct temperature. It was evident that with cold tires heading into Turn 1, there was a higher risk of locking up the front wheels. When you’re racing and aiming to brake later than others, mistakes are bound to happen,” Norris elaborated.
Despite these challenges, Norris offered an overall positive assessment of McLaren’s performance, highlighting the team’s progress and successful overtaking maneuvers during the race.
The team remains committed to addressing areas that require improvement as they strive for further success in the upcoming races. Notably, Silverstone is next on the F1 calendar.
Oscar Piastri receives the same upgrade as Norris
With Norris securing a fourth-place finish at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, anticipation is high for his Australian rookie team mate Oscar Piastri. The youngster will now get to try out the big McLaren update at the British Grand Prix.
If Austria and Norris is anything to go by, then fans of Piastri will be licking their lips for Silverstone.
Team principal Andrea Stella confirms the upgrade for Piastri, stating:
“We returned from Austria with a solid 12-point result for the team, which is highly satisfactory. It was pleasing to witness the successful implementation of the improvements on Lando’s car, and we will now be equipping Oscar’s car with the same enhancements [this weekend at Silverstone],” stated McLaren team principal, Andrea Stella.
McLaren wants to keep their feet on the ground
However, Stella remained pragmatic and focused, keeping expectations in check despite the encouraging outcome in Austria.
“We remain grounded and realistic, recognizing that constant progress and improvement, no matter how small, is of utmost importance,” he added.
“Silverstone presents a completely different challenge compared to Austria, but we are naturally optimistic about achieving another positive result at a circuit that has brought immense joy to Formula 1 fans and participants alike.”
As the British Grand Prix approaches, McLaren currently holds the sixth position in the Constructors’ World Championship, trailing 21 points behind Alpine.
In addition to the technical upgrades on Piastri’s car for the upcoming race, the McLaren team will also showcase a chrome-liveried MCL60, which was unveiled on Monday at the McLaren Technology Center in Woking.