Norris says McLaren set for another step forward

Lando Norris says McLaren has good things coming in terms of its updates due for the next Formula 1 race in Miami, as he sees the team continuing the progress it has made since last season.

McLaren jumped into the fight for podiums following its major car upgrade in Austria last summer and it has remained there in 2024, with Norris finishing second in the Chinese Grand Prix. With upgrades set to be introduced at the next race, Norris says it’s not a case of momentum building but McLaren showing it can hold its own at the front now it is there.

“It’s not building, it’s been there for some time,” Norris said. “Nothing needs to build — nothing needs to be like that. I’ve had confidence in the team for a long time, I’ve had faith that we can improve for a long time — and we have been improving for a long time. We’ve had a good start to the year, we’ve continued to show that, and we’ve got good things coming. So the optimism remains there.”

Teammate Oscar Piastri finished eighth in China after picking up damage and while he’s excited about the new parts coming in Miami, he says the team has work to do to understand why Shanghai went so well on Sunday.

“Hopefully it makes the car faster, but it will be interesting to see what we can do,” Piastri said. “Obviously for Lando to finish second (in China) is a great result for the team and very unexpected, so we need to understand why the car seemed to be good. Hopefully it makes the car even quicker and we can really start challenging for podiums regularly.”

Team principal Andrea Stella backed-up Piastri’s view that China was not expected to be a good weekend, but wants McLaren to use the pleasant surprise as motivation for future success.

“We expected the weekend in China to be a case of damage limitation but, in reality, it proved to be our strongest weekend of the season so far,” Stella said. “Pole position in the Sprint, a strong qualifying performance ahead of the grand prix and then a podium for Lando — and a podium on merit.

“It’s a great credit to the hard work put in by the drivers, the team trackside, at the factory and everyone at HPP, and a nice reward for us, our partners and our fans. I’m very happy for everyone involved.

“On Oscar’s side, the damage he received during the race robbed him of downforce and meant it was impossible to fight for higher positions; but he drove really well, adapting to the changed balance of the car, and did a good job to add points to our tally.

“It feels good to have a result like this. A big thank you to everyone involved — now we need to keep improving and working hard to have more days like this. The only way to do that is to improve the car. Bring on Miami!”

Story originally appeared on Racer