Lando Norris searching for silver lining ahead of 2023 Bahrain GP

McLaren struggled during Bahrain’s pre-season tests, leaving the team pessimistic ahead of the first race of the season.

Pre-season testing in Bahrain did not go to plan for McLaren, with the team racking up the lowest lap count of any team while they struggled with a plethora of issues.

New team principal Andrea Stella has admitted that the MCL60 is not where the team want it to be just yet, leaving the team behind schedule heading into the 2023 season.

Stella has also admitted that McLaren are not currently capable of challenging the top four teams, news which will come as a disappointment to Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Norris was reportedly seen punching a wall following a testing run last week, taking out his frustration as he desperately tried to get to grips with the struggling MCL60.

READ: Zak Brown explains why Lando Norris shouldn’t worry about McLaren’s woeful Bahrain test

The 23-year-old has claimed that there are still multiple problems that the team need to solve heading into the new season, putting the on the back foot early on.

“There’s still many things, to be honest with you, which we’ve been struggling with over the last few cars,” said Norris.

“I guess we’ve been exploring, we’ve been trying a lot of different things with setups. The car looks fairly similar but, there’s quite a few different things on the car.

“So [we’ve] just [been] exploring this, doing all the standard tests that everyone has been doing, seeing the different options that we can go ahead for, so [there has been] a lot of testing, a lot of aero tests at the same time.

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“Fundamentally, the car handles in a reasonably similar way to last year, which is, I guess, good in many ways, but also [it’s] still evident where we have to focus on, so we have a lot of focus on that.”

READ: Revealed: Lando Norris ‘punch’ amid frustration with McLaren

With Norris being the senior driver for the first time in his career this year, McLaren will be relying on the Brit to give them the necessary feedback to improve the MCL60.

Should McLaren not make strides forward quickly, the team may begin to sweat over the long-term future of their star driver, who has been heavily linked to Red Bull in the past.

Norris has claimed that he is committed to the project at McLaren, but as every driver wants to win, he may be forced to take his services elsewhere in the hunt for a championship title.