Lando Norris felt it was not too bad a day for the McLaren F1 Team at the Hungaroring on Friday, despite the Briton finishing only ninth in both free practice sessions.
Norris, the only driver to have scored points in every race of 2021 to date, says the hot conditions in Hungary made things tricky, but he believes McLaren are ‘there or thereabouts’ when it comes to performance this weekend with more time to find on Saturday.
The Briton says the team will be looking to gain some more performance overnight heading into final practice and Qualifying as Norris bids to extend his unbroken points scoring run in 2021 to eleven races on Sunday.
“Today wasn’t too bad – obviously very hot which made things a bit tricky,” said Norris. “It’s not just warm inside the car but the car itself, especially the tyres – the tarmac is hot and that can change a lot of things with the car and how it feels too.
“It doesn’t make things too easy with the temperatures, but we’ll try to make sure we do a better job with that tomorrow and make improvements overnight. But I think we’re there or thereabouts, so we’ll see if we can gain a little bit for tomorrow.”
“The tyres aren’t optimised for these sorts of conditions” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was far less pleased with his day in the heat, with the Australian ending fourteenth and thirteenth across the two sessions.
Ricciardo feels the tyres were never going to be in their optimum window for performance on Friday with temperatures being extremely hot, but with cooler conditions expected for the rest of the weekend, he hopes to be able to unlock some more pace from the car going into Saturday.
“It was a pretty tricky day,” said Ricciardo. “The track conditions were really hot, so I think that made it more difficult.
“Even if you’re fastest today it’s probably not going to feel great because the cars and the tyres aren’t optimised for these sorts of conditions. It was hard to get a good feel from the car this morning, in terms of balance.
“But it was better this afternoon, even though we’ve still got work to do before tomorrow. We’ll try to chip away, make another step or two overnight and then be in a good place tomorrow.”