McLaren boss calls for ‘aggressive development’ after Lando Norris outburst

McLaren completed the fewest number of laps during pre-season testing last week, following several issues with the MCL60.

New McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has admitted that the Woking-based side will have to adapt an “aggressive” approach in order to achieve their “objective” of being a top four team, following a massively disappointing three days of testing in Bahrain.

2023 certainly hasn’t started well for McLaren, with the British side having endured several issues with the MCL60 during the three-day test, with Lando Norris’ frustration having been seen following the conclusion of the final day.

Norris was seen by F1 presenter Will Buxton lightly punching the team’s garage, highlighting the British driver’s disappointment.

It looks set to be a really challenging start to the season for McLaren, who are perhaps going to feature towards the latter end of the field come the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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The situation is so grim that Stella is aware that the team will have to “out-develop” their rivals during 2023 to be amongst the top four, something they currently appear to be well outside of.

“I think being aggressive is required,” said Stella, as reported by Motorsport Week.

“F1 gets more and more competitive in terms of how many teams have the facilities, equipment, people, to develop cars at very high rate.

“Yes, we have to be aggressive if we want to make our objective of being a top four car over the course of the season, we have to out-develop our competitors, so we do have to be aggressive.”

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The biggest problem for McLaren heading into the new season is that the side haven’t met their goals with the MCL60, with Stella having revealed that the papaya side are “shy” of their “targets”.

As a result, the team boss is honest in stating that McLaren are unlikely to feature in the top four come Sunday.

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“The objectives in terms of the aerodynamic efficiency of the car – that’s the one where we are still shy of what was our target I would say,” he said.

“I think we will see again that the midfield is very compact, and this means that if you don’t do a good enough job even in setting up and maximising what you have you may struggle to get out of Q1, at the same time you may be a Q3 contender.

“I think talking about competitiveness, I would say our objective through the season is to be a top four car. At the moment I would say we are not necessarily in this range.”