Formula 1

Tough Friday for McLaren in Bahrain as Norris, Ricciardo Seek Performance Improvements

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Credit: McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris says the McLaren F1 Team has a lot of work to do overnight if they want to have a competitive car this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Norris ended outside the top ten in both free practice sessions on Friday, ending down in sixteenth in the afternoon session and eleventh under the floodlights on Friday evening.

McLaren did not have the best of testing programmes in Bahrain just last week, suffering with multiple braking issues, and although progress appears to have been made in that department for the first race of the season, Norris knew it was always going to be a difficult practice day on Friday.

“Today was always going to be a tough day, trying to make up for the lack of long running that we missed out on last week at the test,” said Norris.  “We stuck to our run plan and can take some positives from the day, but there’s a lot of work to do to be competitive.

“That will be our aim overnight, we’ll go and analyse the data, work out where we can improve and do what we can to get the car in a better place for tomorrow.”

“We’ll keep at it, study the data tonight and try to make up for it tomorrow” – Daniel Ricciardo

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was pleased to be back in the MCL36 after missing last week’s test programme after falling ill with COVID-19, but it was also a difficult day for the Australian on Friday.

Ricciardo was well down the order in both sessions, placing only seventeenth in the first session and eighteenth in the second, ahead only of the two Williams Racing drivers Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon.

He also lost track time in the evening session after the team identified a water leak, but Ricciardo knows there is work to be done to be competitive this weekend and find some pace before Qualifying.

“It’s good being back in the car and back out on track but we didn’t have the smoothest day,” said Ricciardo. “Unfortunately, we missed out on some running this evening, so we’ve got our work cut-out tonight.

“We’ve also got some pace to find, but it’s only day one. We’ll keep at it, study the data tonight and try to make up for it tomorrow morning, before qualifying.”

Daniel Ricciardo was low down the order in both Friday sessions – Credit: McLaren F1 Team
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