In the past few years, McLaren has experienced a decline in performance, prompting significant modifications to both its technical organization and Woking facilities. These changes were implemented under the guidance of newly appointed team manager Andrea Stella and CEO Zak Brown.
McLaren has already started to see the positive outcomes of its structural revamp, resulting in the creation of a B-spec version of its 2023 MCL60 car. These modifications have led to impressive performances by Norris, securing second place finishes in both Silverstone and Budapest. However, the full advantages of the new wind tunnel and other facilities will only become apparent next year.
McLaren’s major step forward has also eased concerns about Norris’ future in the team. The Briton, who has never raced for a different squad in F1, was subject to plenty of rumours and speculation in recent months despite being tied to McLaren until the end of 2025.
However, the team has made substantial advancements and has been able to compete with top teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. Norris has expressed a sense of relief knowing that McLaren has the capability to change its luck.
When asked about McLaren’s recent results and performances in relation to his long-term deal, he responded, “I suppose there’s always some relief in transitioning from a challenging situation to experiencing such a significant change.”
“I believe that even if we had only taken half of the progress we actually made, it would still have been perceived as a positive indication. However, the progress exceeded our expectations. Therefore, it is undoubtedly a source of relief, not only for me but also for the entire team.”
“We took a significant step backward during the winter to evaluate our actions and the path we were following. This is why there was a delay in implementing the upgrades we had planned for the car. However, we utilized this time wisely and remained patient.”
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Norris was questioned about any doubts he may have had regarding his decision to sign a lucrative contract extension in 2022. In response, he stated, “Although there have been moments of frustration and difficulty, I never once thought, ‘This is not the place I desire to be.'”
Certainly, there are occasions when I desired for a more formidable vehicle and I longed for a smoother start to the year. It is disheartening to face such difficulties at the beginning of the year, as it diminishes hope significantly.
However, I am consistently delighted to be part of my current team. I strongly believe that McLaren has the capability to accomplish their objectives, while also helping me achieve mine – winning races and championships alongside them.
“When you acquire enhancements and encounter circumstances like this, there is undoubtedly a sense of relief. These are extremely encouraging indications that we can surpass Aston, surpass Ferrari, compete with Mercedes, and come close to matching Red Bull with a single upgrade.”