Lando Norris says McLaren will have new parts at the Singapore Grand Prix that are the team’s biggest upgrades since Austria, but with a specific focus that excites him,
McLaren made a major step forward in terms of competitiveness at the Red Bull Ring back in July, with Norris finishing fourth and then following that with back-to-back second places at Silverstone and the Hungaroring. With a further set of upgrades being introduced over the next two weekends, Norris says it has the potential to give the team another step.
“Yes, on my car,” Norris said. “A couple of them on the rear wing that we had in Zandvoort, with which we ended up not using then, and saving for here. And then some small things that you’ll probably quite easily see on the rest of the car. So yeah, probably since Austria, it’s the thing that we believe will kind of help us move forward the most since then.
“That has been good, but obviously, we’re not running on the track yet. So we have kind of (decided) don’t say too much until we’ve actually got it to work properly. But a good step — the team have worked hard to get (the parts) to this one, for one of the cars here and then Oscar (Piastri) will have the rest in Japan too. So an exciting couple of weekends for us.”
Norris is particularly excited about the upgrades given the positive impact the Austria package had, but also because the Singapore parts are specifically targeted at a McLaren weakness.
“Definitely more (excited) than those of the last few years — sometimes you put stuff on, and it’s not really delivered what we wanted or what it should have done,” he acknowledged. “So definitely after Austria and how much we progressed since then, it gives me more hope.
“But it’s also a bit more slower-speed biased, which is a bit different to what we had in Austria. So I think that’s probably why we’re being a little bit more cautious on saying how big of a step or how much it’s going to help. Because it’s been a bit easier for us to add load in the kind of medium- to high-speed corners, and less so in very slow speed. But this is our first time we’ve been able to really try to target that a bit more. So we’ll see tomorrow.
“Since we’ve had a bit of a restructure and everything, the first opportunity to show something was Austria. Now, that was just kind of just put load on the car. Now it’s a bit more trying to target a few more specific areas, which is gonna be the first time we’ve probably done that a little bit more. So yeah, I’m interested.
“I think it’s not going to help in exactly the places where from a driving style point of view, I would probably want it but it should just help a little bit of overall load, the cornering speeds and just kind of consistency — tire wear, traction, things like that. But maybe not so much specifically with allowing me to kind of drive the car a bit more in a way that I want.
“It is just a performance enhancement — it’s not like something to make me feel better in the car. But we’ll find out the rest of it tomorrow.”