Norris rubbishes McLaren crisis accusations: We’re in the fight

Lando Norris hit back at McLaren's critics ahead of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris gave an impassioned pushback when asked whether there’s a crisis at McLaren, after the team endured a torrid start to the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Oscar Piastri became the first retirement of the F1 year just 13 laps in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with an electrical issue, while Norris finished dead last with a hydraulics issue that required six pit stops to manage.

However, Norris stressed both problems had been solved between McLaren and Mercedes and that it was business as usual at the team.

“Everyone makes it sound a lot worse than it is and calling a crisis is far from that at all and it’s nothing close to it,” Norris told the media.

“It’s far from that, both quite rare issues that haven’t happened for years and years and both things that we’re confident from a HPP side and a McLaren side are fixed.”

Lando Norris gets his first taste of the 2023 McLaren at pre-season testing in Bahrain | McLaren F1 Team

Norris: McLaren should’ve scored points in Bahrain

Norris even claimed McLaren should’ve finished in the top 10 in Bahrain. After undergoing a difficult pre-season testing where they completed comfortably the fewest laps, they looked better through free practice and qualifying as Norris bagged eleventh place.

However, it all went wrong in the race. Norris pitted on lap 10, three laps before Piastri was called in with a terminal electrical problem, and just seven laps before Norris had to pit again.

With his car leaking pneumatic fluid he needed to pit a further three times before he pulled up on his final lap and was classified as a finisher, but he still thought his team could’ve scored points.

“I think for what we believe, we should’ve been in the top 10 spots and scored some points in Bahrain if we didn’t have the issues,” Norris added. “So our plan is to limit that, not have any issues and try again and make up for what we lost.

“We know in terms of pace we have a lot of work to do, some cars seem much quicker quali and then struggle in the race and some vice versa.

“So I think we just did a bit in the middle there but I believe we should’ve at least had a fight with Alex, Alex was just ahead of me before we started having some of the issues, so yeah, tough to say.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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