McLaren’s weekend in Mexico did not start well, with both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo having difficulties.
After a difficult start to their Mexican Grand Prix weekend, McLaren admits they have a lot of work ahead of them.
On the timesheets for Free Practice 1, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finished 14th and 15th, respectively, while Free Practice 2 had more troubles.
Norris set the 12th quickest time, although Ricciardo was required to spend the most of the practice in the garage owing to a gearbox problem on his MCL35M. In P15, he completed the hour.
As a result, Ricciardo claims he was unable to do much during Friday’s running, and the team must act quickly to improve ahead of Saturday’s race.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t really get much done this afternoon,” the Australian explained. “We had an issue in FP2, so we only completed the Hard run.
“These things happen, and we’ll just have to get into it tomorrow. We don’t have any time to waste so we’ll get amongst it.
“We’ve got a few challenges ahead but we’ll be alright. We got enough information from Lando today to be able to pick it up tomorrow.”
Confident of improvements
Meanwhile, Norris acknowledged that the Woking-based team’s weekend had not started well, but he is optimistic that they can improve.
“A difficult day as we struggled with the balance and the overall grip level,” Norris said.
“I think we’ve found some positives between FP1 and FP2. We can be confident we’re going to make some improvements into tomorrow and find a bit more lap time.
“It’s not easy, so we’ll work hard overnight and see what we can find.”
McLaren is still fighting Ferrari for third place in the Constructors’ Championship, and Andrea Stella, the team’s Executive Racing Director, knows how critical it is to keep up with the competition.
“Today’s practice sessions showed us what we expected to see here in Mexico City,” Stella added.
“The altitude pushes us to tune several aspects of our setup to cope with the cooling requirements and low downforce levels that are a feature of racing on this circuit. What we weren’t expecting was the need to curtail Daniel’s afternoon session.
“We stopped him early after seeing some markers in the data, related to his gearbox, that we thought prudent to explore. This leaves us with work to do to ensure we are competitive in qualifying and the race.
“It seems very tight this weekend with Ferrari and AlphaTauri in good shape, but we know what we have to do to meet our objectives over the next two days.”
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