Norris admits MCL36 is ‘unsuited’ to his driving style, but eyes long-term success with McLaren

Lando Norris has been one of the star performers on the starting lineup this season. But the Brit recently revealed that despite his success this year, he doesn’t quite line up with McLaren’s MCL36.

Norris currently sits seventh in the drivers’ standings with 88 points – including his podium finish at Imola, the only podium for a driver outside of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes this year.

Speaking of F1 Beyond the grid Podcast, the Brit revealed that despite his good performances this season, he’s struggled to adapt to McLaren’s 2022 car, while addressing the notion that the MCL36 was built for him – with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo sidelined in favor of Oscar became Piastri for 2023 after failing to consistently match Norris’ performances over the season and a half as teammates.

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“Things have been said [Daniel] doesn’t fit the car and stuff, and everyone thinks I fit the car and the car is built around me, but it couldn’t be more wrong,” Norris said. “Not that I hate driving the car I drive now, but it’s very unsuitable for my driving style.

“I would say earlier this year it suited Daniel a lot better than me in terms of the way it had to be driven. And I really struggled with that at the start of the season. I’m much more comfortable with it now, or I’ve adapted to it – I’d say better suited to it.”

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Norris continued: “But it’s far from a car that I would want in an ideal world and if I wanted to do, say, the best possible lap and give me this car to do that, it’s definitely not the car that I have now.”

When asked if the team had adapted the car to him recently, Norris said: “I’ve had to adapt to the car a lot more. In terms of the car, the team can’t do much more for me. They just do it as fast as possible… I ask for things and I say, ‘This is the direction I want to go.’ But it’s not like they just go into the wind tunnel and focus on that.

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“I feel like I’m driving a pretty similar car in terms of characteristics to the car I drove in my first year in Formula 1 [in 2019]. It has changed a bit but nothing I would say now suits me better than it did in my first year of racing.”

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Norris says he asked the team to make certain changes but had yet to adapt his style to the car

Norris has penned a long-term deal with McLaren ahead of the start of the 2022 season. With six podiums to date, the Brit is still chasing that elusive first victory in the sport and while he knows it may take a while with McLaren, he believes the wait will be all the more satisfying when it finally happens.

“The fact that I would sign a contract like that, the fact that I know in the short term that I won’t win any races – I knew I wouldn’t win last year, I won’t win it this year, there is one next year reasonable chance we won’t win and I signed up knowing all of that.

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“So it’s not like I signed up for any other reason other than because I know I have the confidence that we can achieve things together and I think that’s going to make things cuter than just one Join a team that has a chance to win races. ”

He continued, “I have a lot of faith in the team… and we have a strong team at the moment in terms of culture and atmosphere. I think we’re definitely in the best spot we’ve ever been. ”

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