Lando Norris says there’s more to unlock in the newly one-off livery of MCL35M, and he hopes the one-day break can help the team make improvements ahead of the weekend.
After two years away, Formula 1 has returned to the iconic street circuit of Monte Carlo for Monaco Grand Prix, and the special occasion saw the McLaren F1 Team revealed a special one-off Gulf livery for the weekend.
Although the eye-catching livery grabbed the attention of all supporters in attendance, their pace was slightly disappointing, especially as their rival for third place in the World Championship took a one-two in the second practice session.
Norris finished sixth in the afternoon session, the highest throughout the day, but says the team are not far off from the frontrunners and believes there’s more to unlock on Saturday.
“A decent day, I’m happy. I think we made some good progress between the sessions,” Norris said.
“It’s very tight, as expected, especially to the guys behind, but we also look not far off the guys ahead. We have a chance to capitalise on mistakes that they might make.
“I feel comfortable in the car but there’s definitely some more to unlock going into Saturday, and into qualifying. So, tomorrow we can spend the day looking over the data to see what improvements we can make for the rest of the weekend.”
Daniel Ricciardo – “today wasn’t a great day, we’ve got some work to do”
His team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, struggled for pace throughout the day but is confident that he rectified any improvements by the weekend.
After a difficult start to his career at McLaren, Ricciardo seemed to have turned the corner at the Spanish Grand Prix, finishing sixth and ahead of his fellow driving partner, but once again, found himself unable to get comfortable in MCL35M around Monaco.
The Australian acknowledges it wasn’t the greatest day despite being jubilant about returning to Monaco, finishing both sessions in fifteenth but believes the team can figure out what went wrong and recover for Saturday.
“Back on the streets! It’s nice to be back here for sure, it’s a good track and I love it. Despite that, today wasn’t a great day, we’ve got some work to do.
“We’ve got the evening and all day tomorrow to work it out, but this is why I love Monaco, you get a day off to really get into it, reset, and have a look at where we’re missing out.
“I think by Saturday I’ll be all good and we’ll figure it out, but today it just felt like a little bit of a stalemate at times.
“We’ve got some work to do, but the sun is shining, and we’ll get back out there on Saturday and have some fun.”