Lando Norris has said that the 2022 F1 McLaren was not an easy car to drive, and it initially suited his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo more. The two years at McLaren, though, were less than fruitful for Ricciardo, as the Australian was unable to extract the full potential of the car.
The situation was so adverse that Ricciardo ended up losing his seat with the team. Contrary to expectations, Norris said that the car was initially more suited to Ricciardo’s style in 2022 and that he had to mold his driving style to extract lap time out of it.
Talking to The Race, Norris said that he had to unlearn a lot of things while driving the car:
“It’s not an easy car to drive; it’s just not a simple car to drive, would maybe be a better way of putting it. There’s techniques and characteristics you have to try and understand. In the beginning, my driving style from last year was the opposite of what I needed. So even though it’s a McLaren, and we struggled with similar things in some ways, the way you have to drive it is very different. Therefore, I’ve actually had to relearn a lot.”
Lando Norris added that his situation was somewhat similar to what Carlos Sainz suffered at Ferrari, as the Spaniard struggled to adapt to the car early last season. Norris said:
“Daniel’s natural driving style at the beginning of the year suited the car more than it did me, and I had to force myself to drive in a different way. I feel I’ve done a good job (of that), similar to Carlos (at Ferrari). He complained a lot at the beginning of the season and had to do a lot of work to adapt to make the most of the car.”
“That’s the driver’s job, at the end of the day” – Lando Norris
Talking about the situation at McLaren, Lando Norris said that at the end of the day, it’s the driver’s job to adapt to what he’s given. Although that takes time, it’s important that a driver understands how to drive the car in the quickest way. Norris said:
“That’s the driver’s job, at the end of the day, no matter what the car is. Whether the car is easy to drive or hard to drive, the driver’s job is to go out and adapt to it and understand how to drive it in the quickest way. But it does take time. That’s something that’s made me believe I’ve done a good job this year.”
It will be interesting to see how Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris’ new teammate, fares this season compared to how Ricciardo did.