The future looks bright for McLaren, as the team expect a brand new state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility to be operational next year in their bid to create a car capable of challenging for titles once again.
Alongside their new technology, the team from Woking possess the services of one of the most sought-after drivers in the sport, in the form of 23-year-old Lando Norris.
The Brit eased McLaren’s early season worries by picking up a podium at Imola and never looked back, fending off the likes of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon to secure a best of the rest finish in the championship, despite Alpine outscoring McLaren overall.
Norris finished 85 points above his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the standings, which is highly impressive when it is considered that the Australian is an eight-time Grand Prix winner regardless of his McLaren struggles.
Former F1 driver turned analyst Jolyon Palmer has heaped praise on Norris in a recent column, tipping the Brit to win his first Grand Prix in the near future.
“It was another stellar season for the McLaren driver, who barely put a foot wrong all campaign to finish comfortably best of the rest in the standings and almost single handedly take the fight to Alpine in the constructor’s’ championship,” said Palmer.
“The gap between the best and the rest was bigger than anticipated in 2022, something I hope will close up from next season to give more of the midfielders opportunities.
“But it was only Norris who managed a podium outside of the top three teams, with his driver to third in Imola.
“With a long-term contract in place, he’ll be hoping for a leap in performance from his team next season. If that comes, I expect Norris to be knocking on the door of that maiden race win once again.”
Norris came ever so close to winning his first Grand Prix in Russia two seasons ago, however a mix-up in communication between the driver and his team about the weather conditions saw Norris struggle in the late rain and be overtaken by Lewis Hamilton who had pitted for the intermediate tyres.
With Red Bull being pleaded to sign the 23-year-old star to replace Sergio Perez by Sky Sports pundits in their post-season review, McLaren will be hoping to keep their driver happy by providing him with a more competitive car in 2023, as Norris will want to be challenging for championships in the not so distant future.