McLaren bringing colossal upgrade package to Austrian GP to hold onto Lando Norris

McLaren are set to take three weekends in order to properly install their upgrades which have been backed to turn the season around.

Zak Brown has admitted the high-profile dismissal of Daniel Ricciardo took attention away from the deeply rooted issues at McLaren.

It’s been another lacklustre start to the season for McLaren, limited to 17 points in the constructors’ championship and residing in 6th place.

“We had our driver-related issues … which kind of took the attention,” Zak Brown stated earlier in the season.

“Meanwhile, kind of underneath the surface, I wasn’t happy with the pace of the development of the racing car. That was the second half of last year.”

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McLaren have been able to keep the young talent that is Lando Norris for another season at least but time is running out with delivering the Englishman a competitive car.

But come the Austrian Grand Prix, their fortunes may change.

McLaren have announced a colossal upgrade package set to take three full weekends to apply.

Andrea Stella is adamant such an upgrade can improve the state of play at McLaren.

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“I’m banking on this package. This should be a few tenths of a second. It should be noticeable from a lap time point of view,” he said.

“At the start of the season, we realised that the car needed a fundamental redesign,

“This redesign is actually [influencing] pretty much every single aerodynamic part.

“That’s why the upgrades will be spread over the course of a few races. It will be decently noticeable.”

McLaren are far off their rivals

It has been reported that 50% of the package will be applied in time for the Austrian GP but whether that will be enough to challenge runaway rivals Alpine and Aston Martin remains to be seen.

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F1 debutant Oscar Piastri has been able to score points for his team this season, coming home in 8th place in his native Australian GP.

However, Norris will be eager to springboard into the top 10 of the driver’s championship as the Briton finds himself down in 11th with 12 points.

For a driver of his calibre, a place in the top 10 is the bare minimum, and if the upgrades fail to radically change the pace of the MCL60 then the driver will likely look elsewhere.