‘Amazing race’: Norris sees the funny side to McLaren struggles

Lando Norris was in a jovial mood after his P15 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ending up just one position higher.

Lando Norris gave a sarcastic reply when asked about McLaren’s woeful weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, as they walked away from the first race with no points to their name.

Both Norris and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo failed to make it into the third and final qualifying session on Saturday, and spent most of the race running towards the bottom of the order.

The six last cars for most of the grand prix were all running Mercedes engines, and the McLaren pair eventually ended the race 14th through Ricciardo and 15th through the Briton.

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They spent their evening in Sakhir largely battling away with the Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg, as well as Williams’ Nicholas latifi.

Norris sarcastically described his race as “amazing” in a post-race interview.

“Oh amazing race really… yeah, yeah. Really enjoyed it. I mean, it was just tough to hang onto the car,” he said.

“Especially when you’re around quicker cars you want to try and keep up [because] that’s your only hope, and when you do so it’s easy to make mistakes.

“You just degrade the tyres way too much comparing to what you should by trying to be too optimistic with a position.

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“Not in a bad way, it’s just you’re pushing to try and do better and we just don’t really have a good enough car at the minute to do better so we have a lot of work to do quite simply between us here at the track but also everyone back at MTC [McLaren Technology Centre]… where we’re working as hard as possible for next week to try and bring some improvements and figure out the car a little bit more, see if there’s anything we’re missing or we’ve gone away from or whatever, and just try to start fresh, but as well learn as many things as we can from this weekend so we’ll see what we can do next week.”

Asked if he was surprised that the Woking-based team had encountered as many performance issues as they did, the 22-year-old was aware that it was going to be a challenge as soon as he ventured onto the circuit on Friday.

“Maybe a little bit [surprised], not completely because I think we knew from lap one in FP1 that it was going to be a long weekend,” he explained.

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“I thought from the first push lap I felt like ‘oh I’m happy with that, three seconds off,’ so we knew it was going to be tough.

“It’s just the race distance, doing the 57 laps with a car that’s very difficult to drive , that’s when you start suffering a lot so we can try some things for next week and so on but I’m not too sure just yet.”

McLaren were one of four teams to fail to finish in the top 10 in Bahrain, and will be aiming for better fortunes as the F1 circus rolls into Saudi Arabia this coming weekend.