Lando Norris says the McLaren F1 Team have a lot they can improve on after a difficult opening day of the French Grand Prix on Friday.
The British racer, the only driver to have scored points in every race so far in 2021, ended ninth fastest in the morning session at the Circuit Paul Ricard, and was only tenth in the afternoon, although he was under a second away from top placed Max Verstappen.
Norris says the temperatures in France made it difficult to keep the tyres in a good operating window, so it will be up to everyone within the team to get around this issue and come back stronger across the rest of the weekend.
“Tough first day, tricky conditions playing the biggest part,” said Norris. “The temperature made it difficult to keep the tyres in a good window. So, driving the car became a bit of a challenge especially with the wind.
“I think we’ve got a few bits we can definitely improve upon, but we still have quite a bit of work to do. It’s very close with the rest of the field so every little bit is going to help – but it’s also going to make qualifying tough going into tomorrow.
“Hopefully we can find a little bit extra to make our lives a little bit easier.”
“We’ll just chip away and find a bit more pace for tomorrow” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo began the weekend with a positive morning in France as the popular Australian posted the sixth fastest time, but such was the closeness of the field, he could only muster fourteenth in the afternoon.
Just two-tenths of a second separated Ricciardo from Norris in the afternoon, and he feels there is a good feel to the car so far, which gives him confidence of a strong weekend, something he needs after taking a best finish of sixth in the opening six races whereas Norris has twice finished on the podium.
“First day done, it was quite a warm one!” said Ricciardo. “The morning was pretty promising. We had a good start to first practice, but then in second practice, competitively, we didn’t seem as good.
“I’m not really sure why right now, but we’ll look into it. It didn’t feel too bad and it’s all very close. We’re probably only missing a few tenths right now.
“That said, I’m not too concerned, we’ll work at it tonight. Generally, the feeling isn’t too bad, so we’ll just chip away and find a bit more pace for tomorrow.”