Norris: McLaren must match Ferrari's F1 ground-effects gains for 2023

Lando Norris says McLaren must take as big a step forwards this season as Ferrari managed between 2021 and 2022, even though the major Formula 1 rule change has passed.

Norris: McLaren must match Ferrari's F1 ground-effects gains for 2023

McLaren failed to win at the start of the second ground-effects F1 era last year, with Norris achieving a sole team podium in the Emilia Romagna GP.

The struggles with its MCL36 left the Woking outfit to take its first major competitive backwards step since the start of its Andreas Seidl-led recovery plan.

From scoring third in the 2020 constructors’ championship, McLaren fell to fifth behind Alpine while it waits for its new simulator and wind tunnel to be completed.

In an exclusive interview with Autosport, which features in the current magazine issue, Norris reckons his team must match 2022 runner-up and four-time grand prix winner Ferrari’s gains over one winter.

He said: "That's achievable. I think what they did was extremely good.

“Going from where they were [in 2021], from almost getting beat by us, to going to where they are getting wins, fighting for podiums every single weekend…That's what we need to be aiming for.

“That level of a jump from one season to another.

“They've obviously had, not the luck, but they've maximised a new era, a new rules set for Formula 1 with new cars, which has allowed them to make a bigger jump than ever.

“But there's still plenty of opportunities for us to achieve something like that.

“And that's where we need to be setting our goals for.”

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Erik Junius

Norris, 23, added that he did not want to have to wait for the new wind tunnel - which is unlikely to impact car performance until 2024 - for the team to notably improve.

He instead reckoned the team can make much better use of its current resources.

He added: “The fact is, we have to do a better job and the team have to do a better job with making a better car.

“I think already next year we need to make progress. I have good faith that we can.

“We have a huge amount of what we need in the right areas and the right people and so on.

“It's just that final hurdle, the final thing to get us up to the same level to then have no excuse against Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari.

“The team know that they need to do a better job.”

Read Also:

While Norris is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2025, he concedes that his impatience to win has been exacerbated by ex-team-mate Carlos Sainz and 2018 FIA F2 title rival George Russell making potentially career-defining switches to Ferrari and Mercedes to win races.

Norris continued: “I wish I was there with them. Of course, I wish I was in that battle.

“I feel like I deserve to be in that battle. I feel like I can be, and I think it will be a great battle.

“But it's just not the position that I'm in at the minute... I can race against them in the future, and I can do the same as what they're doing. “

shares
comments
Do Formula 1 team-mates really need to be best friends?
Previous article

Do Formula 1 team-mates really need to be best friends?

Next article

Russell felt "a bit of a rookie" during first Mercedes F1 year in 2022

Russell felt "a bit of a rookie" during first Mercedes F1 year in 2022
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023