“Damn, I’ve missed this seat” tweeted Lando Norris while kickstarting Mclaren’s testing day in the New car. The Briton, who will be competing in his third F1 season besides teammate Daniel Ricciardo seems all set for the fresh challenge.
We must mention that McLaren finished third in the constructors’ championship last season, with Norris claiming a career-best third at the Austrian GP. Talking of the Driver’s championship, the Briton finished on ninth, three places beneath his teammate, Carlos Sainz, who is now driving with Ferrari.
How is Lando Norris settling in with his new role at Mclaren?
Lando Norris looks excited yet nervous while settling in with his role of team leader alongside his new but more experienced teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.
“In many ways, it will be the hardest season for different reasons. One of them is that I am the guy with experience at McLaren and I need to lead the team in the right direction. I have more responsibility now. There is more on me to lead the team with my knowledge of how they work.”, Lando Norris said.
On the other side, Ricciardo has recently signed a three-year contract with McLaren. While getting along with the contractual formalities, Ricciardo put confidence in Mclaren for offering him a position to at least ‘fight for wins’.
Still, there’s a world full of challenges ahead for McLaren in the coming season. They have recently switched to Mercedes engines, and with F1 regulations staying unchanged until 2022, they stand as the only team that needs to build an entirely new car around their latest power unit.
Mclaren did reap all the rewards with Mercedes engines in the 90s and 2000s. Still, they have all kinds of challenges and obstacles to be confronted before the start of the 2021 season.
Regardless of all the barriers in Mclaren’s way, Lando Norris seems confident for the new season. “I know what I am capable of doing but it is about achieving that every single weekend and understanding how to be in that zone to do it,” he said.
‘All was not well’ in Ricciardo’s first rendezvous with Mclaren’s new car
Despite all the hefty claims, his teammate Ricciardo did face few issues on his first day with Maclaren’s new car
Ricciardo found it tough to fit in the chassis while claiming it as ‘tighter than before’. “It’s pretty normal,” Ricciardo said. “I do have wide hips. I’m pretty thick-boned, I guess – but I got in!
“It was the first mock-up of a seat, and with the dimensions they had and assumed what would be okay for me, wasn’t quite okay. Fortunately, it was just the seat. It wasn’t the actual keel itself which is too narrow. So since then I have been able to get in a seat, and I do fit.”, Ricciardo further added.
The 31-year-old stands as one of the most experienced drivers in the F1 grid. Still, his body dimensions come as an obstacle against his comfort in the modern F1 cars.
“I feel like I’m certainly the limit. You know, I think the way they design the cars and the chassis now, everything’s trying to be as tight and compact as possible. So really, my hips are sometimes the limiting factor,” Ricciardo continued.
“I just tell them: ‘Make sure I’m comfortable, and if you think that loses you a tenth of aerodynamics, then I’ll just drive faster on track!’
It was just the first day for Ricciardo and Lando Norris in Mclaren’s new car for the 2021 season. The Bahrain Grand Prix is still more than a month away. So, it would be interesting to see how both these drivers gel up with the new engine and chassis onboard.