Just like teammate Carlos Sainz, Norris ran with a standard set-up on Friday – a strategy that he said was also in part to avoid the risk of damaging the new one – before the team made a final call last night to trial the new nose on Norris' car during the remainder of the weekend.
Despite a lack of spare parts creating problems if any damage is incurred McLaren ultimately decided to run the new spec, and thus gain information from a full race distance on Sunday.
The new solution, which bears a resemblance to the nose design used by Mercedes for some time now and subsequently adopted by the likes of Racing Point and Renault, features narrower pillars beneath the nose structure that connect it to the front wing, whilst the cape now forms its own surface, rather than being constructed as part of the wing pillars. However, in Sochi this wasn’t the only test item on the menu for McLaren, as the team continues to bring race-by-race updates that should unlock performance from each other.
Having installed new bargeboards and sidepod deflectors in previous races (blue and red arrows respectively), the team has moved its attention further forward this time around, focusing on the front wing.
The new design concentrates its efforts in two main areas - the Y250 region, which sees the lowermost flap shortened and the tip blunted (red arrow) and the two flaps above now have an additional metal support placed between them to prevent the gap between them closing (blue arrow).
In the section of the wing outboard of the adjuster, the flaps have been relaxed slightly to alter the airflow across and around the face of the tyre in order to improve the trajectory of the wake turbulence as it travels down the length of the car.