Lando Norris felt it was a ‘reasonable’ day for the McLaren F1 Team at the Miami International Autodrome on Friday, although he says there are some challenges to overcome if they are to be competitive this weekend.
The Briton, coming off the back of his first podium of the season last time out at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, ended eleventh fastest in the first-ever practice session at the Miami track on Friday morning before improving to sixth in the afternoon.
Norris believes that every saw bit of time they can find during Qualifying could mean a bit swing of finishing position, so it is key McLaren work hard to fine-tune the car for Saturday’s running.
“A reasonable day, if a bit tricky,” said Norris. “There’s a few challenges for us to overcome. First of all, the ambient temperatures are tough.
“The track grip is quite low when you leave the racing line, and it’s quite bumpy in places, so it’s a difficult track because of that. But despite that, we made some good progress throughout the day.
“Hopefully we can make another step into tomorrow and gain even more. It looks very close, between everyone, from the front to the back. Everyone is much closer than they have been lately, which is tough, but hopefully we can just squeeze a bit more performance.
“I think every little bit of time can be the difference between a few positions. It’s going to be a tight qualifying, so every little thing we can get out of the car into tomorrow will be helpful.”
“We’ve got to work on a few things tonight” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo feels the middle sector of the track is ‘too tight’ for the modern-day Formula 1 cars, while he also says a lot of time will be lost if anyone goes off-line due to the lack of grip of the racing line.
The Australian ended tenth fastest in the morning session in Miami but only twelfth in the afternoon, with Ricciardo admitting there is some work to do to bring himself into contention for the top ten on Saturday.
“It’s cool to be on a new track, although it was challenging as the surface is quite unique and different,” said Ricciardo. “It’s not the easiest to get into as just going off-line, you lose so much grip.
“I like the first sector, that’s cool, but the real tight stuff in the middle, I think is just a bit too tight for how big the cars are now.
“Overall, we’ve got to work on a few things tonight; just the usual things for a new track, trying to discover and learn, and just try to find a sweet spot for tomorrow.”