Despite the team’s struggles in Bahrain, McLaren F1 Team’s driver lineup of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris believe they have made some progress on Friday in Saudi Arabia, though there is still more work to do in order to compete for points.
Completing a total of 47 laps on Friday’s testing day, Ricciardo would finish Free Practice 1 in eleventh place, and Free Practice 2 in fifteenth place while gathering vital data for McLaren.
“Today was a fairly productive day. I think we hit the ground running and we haven’t needed to adjust the car too much, we’re just learning a bit more about it. For our relative competitiveness, I think it was a productive day,” the Australian claimed.
“It’s a good circuit to drive on, you get a good feeling around here, which is enjoyable. We’ve got some small changes to work on overnight, but all in all it’s been a good day and I think we’re in a little better shape than Bahrain.”
Norris – “We’re feeling a little bit more confident, but it’s all very close“
Norris was able to place a little higher in the standings on Friday, finishing thirteenth in Free Practice 1 and seventh in Free Practice 2; completing 50 laps for the papaya-coloured team. Despite feeling more confident, the Briton pointed out that there are still issues with the MCL-36 that the team need be able to solve in order to be more competitive:
“A reasonable day. A few things feeling a little bit better because of the type of track – much quicker and a lot smoother, so there are definitely some differences. I think that’s allowing us to extract a little bit more potential out of the car,” the 22-year old explained.
“We’re feeling a little bit more confident, but it’s all very close and we’re still lacking in many areas, so we’ll continue to work on some of the progress we’ve made, and see if we can get even more performance out of the car tomorrow.”
After being knocked out of Q1 and Q2 during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix last week, McLaren will be hoping to get both cars through to the second stage of qualifying in Jeddah, despite describing progress as ‘little’ throughout all of these statements.