AUSTRALIA: McLaren’s Lando Norris has revealed that the McLaren MCL60 has a severe issue with drag at top speed, which is exacerbated when the Drag Reduction System (DRS) is open.
Norris said that the problem is so severe that when DRS is not available, it actually helps the team when racing rivals for position.
Norris battled with the issue to finish sixth at the Australian Grand Prix, while his teammate, Oscar Piastri, finished eighth.
The two drivers survived the late-race chaos, which saw several crashes on the track.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez overtook Norris during the race, and the Brit stuck to the Red Bull driver’s rear wing and tried to follow him through when he passed Nico Hulkenberg.
However, Hulkenberg closed the door on the Briton, which initiated a battle for position that lasted several laps.
Norris eventually passed Hulkenberg with six laps to go, as the German ran wide and could not fight back.
Despite the struggles with the car’s top speed, Norris remained positive and said that the team is aware of the issue and is working on improving the car. McLaren will bring a significant upgrade to the next race in Baku.
The issue with draggy cars is not unique to McLaren, with Red Bull’s DRS system said to be worth two-tenths or three-tenths of a second, giving the team an advantage over its rivals.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, has called Red Bull’s straight-line speed “mind-boggling.”
Norris did not mention which rivals he was comparing McLaren’s DRS pace with, but he acknowledged that the team’s biggest weakness is the car’s top speed.
However, he remains confident that the team can work on improving the car and that hard work will pay off in the long run.
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