LANDO NORRIS suggests his McLaren car was lacking pace after finishing outside the points at the Belgian Grand Prix.
F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix
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Lando Norris has claimed McLaren’s DRS is “pretty shocking” and has been costing the team overtaking opportunities. The Briton predicted his car was capable of beating the Red Bulls in a straight line but then lost out when the rear wing flap opened.
Speaking on race day in Spa, Norris explained: “I think we were probably one of the quicker ones on the straights. 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 straightline condition, I think yesterday we were quicker than Red Bull. But then the Red Bull opens DRS and gains another 15kph and is a completely different league to a lot of people, [so there’s] something we’re maybe missing with DRS.
“Maybe that makes our overtaking opportunities less than other people.” Norris was competitive across the free practice sessions, regularly setting times faster than the Mercedes and Ferraris.
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Lando Norris has identified an issue with McLaren (Image: Getty)
However, he was handed a back of the grid penalty after taking new components meaning he was unable to extract his car’s potential. The McLaren star eventually battled through to finish 12th, the first time he has finished outside the points since Canada.
Norris’ admission comes as Oscar Piastri’s F1 future could be decided by the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) today. It is understood Piastri has contracts with both Alpine and McLaren with both sides set to fight for the Australian’s services.
Teams must abide by the decision that the CRB goes with – meaning one of Piastri’s contracts will be terminated. Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer said he was very confident the CRB would side with the French manufacturer’s case at the hearing.
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Lando Norris said the team have struggled with its DRS (Image: Getty)
He also took a swipe at Piastri over the weekend, claiming the rookie lacked integrity. However, Brown hit back at the Alpine team principal ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, suggesting he lacked credibility.
Norris was asked about a new team-mate after Daniel Ricciardo was axed by McLaren ahead of the race. He commented: “I’m really not fussed. As long as it’s someone I can enjoy spending time with and I can work together with well then I’m happy. Yeah, I don’t know who yet, I just look forward to it.
“Of course, it will be a new challenge, many differences. If it is someone younger then I will probably feel weird like I’m the older guy and more mature guy in the team which I never feel like. I don’t know yet.”