McLaren explain ‘cautious’ approach to upgrades as Lando Norris running low on patience

McLaren have admitted that they missed a number of targets they set for the MCL60 during pre-season testing.

The long-term project for McLaren is for the team to return to title winning contention within the next couple of years.

Having finished in fifth place in the constructors’ championship last season, McLaren will be hoping to challenge for the best of the rest place this season to start their journey back to winning ways.

The 2023 season has started disastrously for the team however, with McLaren missing targets in pre-season, leading to the MCL60 looking like a car full of issues.

Neither McLaren driver made it through to Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix and to make matters worse, neither finished the race.

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Oscar Piastri was forced to retire with a technical issue after only 13 laps and Lando Norris had to pit five times to manage a pneumatic issue before eventually retiring later in the race.

The MCL60 did not look like a car capable of challenging at the top of the midfield in Bahrain but despite the lack performance, McLaren technical director James Key has said that the car is only struggling majorly in one aspect.

“It does exactly what we expected it to do and the primary driver comment is ‘just add grip and we can go faster’. It’s not like we’ve got to attack this crazy characteristic or this really annoying thing here or whatever,” he told The Race.

“If you just take the car and just add grip, that’ll naturally go quicker. So, it does give us a very clear approach rather than trying to overcome something you don’t really understand fully yet, or it’s a bit of an anomaly.

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“So that helps. It means we can be very direct in our approach and very clear in our approach of what we’re trying to achieve. The hope is it just ads to that.

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“I would still be cautious about talking about updates, because you’ve got it going on in the car first and make sure it works.”

McLaren will be hoping to quickly improve this season to keep Lando Norris happy, with the driver being heavily linked with a move elsewhere.

The Brit has consistently claimed that he is committed to McLaren but should the team fail to give him a car capable of being competitive, he may be swayed by the likes of Red Bull.