Lando Norris explained where McLaren can continue to upgrade after his second place at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix – completing the team’s first back-to-back podiums since 2012.
Lining up third on the grid, Norris finished passed Lewis Hamilton in the first corner but found himself behind Max Verstappen and teammate Oscar Piastri, though he passed the Australian in the pits before holding off Sergio Perez in the closing stages.
After Norris finished the season-opening Bahrain GP two laps down and Piastri became the first retirement of the season, it’s been a remarkable turnaround for McLaren after upgrades arrived for the Austrian GP, and the Brit said his team has a clear development plan.
“Three races now with this upgrade package, all of which have obviously clearly been a lot more positive,” Norris said. “It’s two things, one is just more load, more grip, I go around the corners a bit quicker.
“While doing that, I guess we’ve tried to improve some of the handling balance issues that I guess is another part of it. You don’t just want a car which has got a lot of downforce but drives terribly.”
“If we can improve both of these together that’s already the biggest step we need and we’ll probably take away any weaknesses we have, and then we’ll just be strong, and it’ll be just trying to raise the bar from that side of it.
“So I think we have a clear plan of action for how to do it and what we need. But actually turning it into something real is the difficulty.”
McLaren’s surprise package in Hungary
Norris hadn’t expected McLaren to repeat their Silverstone performance in Hungary, with so many more slow-speed corners at the Hungaroring, but that’s how things transpired with the team immediately on the pace from qualifying.
Norris passed Lance Stroll for eighth in the drivers’ standings while Piastri moves to within four points of Esteban Ocon, who’s scored just two points in the past three races.
That change for eighth feels more significant though, Aston Martin were the early team to beat behind Red Bull but have faded in recent races.
So the guys are doing a very good job. Everyone in the factory is working extremely hard days like today, motivate them even more and make them work even harder, which is, which is a good bonus.
“I think there are still some things from a handling side that I would like to be improved,” Norris added. “But it’s tough, you’re always gonna be complaining. Max was complaining yesterday, I don’t see him complain too much but today it’s mega so it comes and goes.”