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Norris: McLaren hiding car details due to “game of performance”

Lando Norris says that his McLaren Formula 1 team is reluctant to show too many details of the new MCL38 because the sport is a “game of performance.”

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

The team launched its new car at Silverstone on Wednesday with no media presence and only issued pictures that appeared to disguise aerodynamic details.

Asked why the team was being so cautious Norris said it was simply a case of protecting its IP for as long as possible.

“Because we can!” he said. “Because it's a game of performance, and why would you ever want to give away anything? So you see what the car looks like. But you'll see in two weeks or something the rest. So, be patient.”

In a reference to Red Bull running at Silverstone earlier this week ahead of its launch event on Thursday evening Norris’s team-mate Oscar Piastri added: “I mean, at least we showed our car before it went on track, unlike others!”

Team principal Andrea Stella said it was a simple choice of the team to do something different, having hosted an event with a strong media presence at its Woking base last year.

“We have seen recently that teams decided to have some style to launch the car like we had last year,” he said. “Where there was a show, or it was launched at the theatre, at MTC, live streaming.

“But we also see that sometimes you may want to have just a lower profile in launching your car. So, I guess also, these approaches can be alternated over time. And we went from last year's glamorous one to this year, which is low profile.

McLaren MCL38

McLaren MCL38

Photo by: McLaren

“This is not only technical, or operational aspects, this is also marketing and commercial. So you know, Formula 1 is a large business, is not only technical, like I say, and we need to take into account all these requirements and variety of approaches.”

Asked if what has been seen of the car thus far was representative he added: "I would say pretty accurate. I wouldn't be prepared for anything too shocking."

Stella also noted that from his own observations of rival cars they are looking more similar than in the past two seasons, which could be reflected in a closer field.

"This is the first year with these new regulations that based on what we have seen in the early photographs of the cars the microscopic shapes seem to be starting to converge,” he said.

“At the same time, a lot of the performance is actually in the details and in the millimetre game, so not necessarily the fact that the cars start to look similar means that performance will converge.

“But certainly this could be a first important factor. So I would expect some of these convergences.”

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