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F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 24: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 24, 2022 in Imola, Italy.

Norris: McLaren must replicate Ferrari’s F1 ground-effects improvements for 2023

Ferrari nailed the new regulations, leading to the Maranello team becoming frontrunners after being at the top of the midfield in 2021

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Lando Norris emphasises that it is essential for McLaren to make big strides this season as Ferrari did from 2021 to 2022, despite the opportunity with new Formula 1 regulations passing.

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna - SprintIMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 23: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving (16) the Ferrari F1-75 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes during Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 23, 2022 in Imola, Italy.
Norris claimed McLaren’s sole podium finish, finishing third in Imola (Image Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

McLaren endured a difficult season in 2022 with the new ground-effects cars. The Woking team could only managed one podium finish through Lando Norris in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The team discovered significant issues with the MCL36 in pre-season testing. Their brakes were always getting too hot, limiting the amount of running Norris and Ricciardo could do.

The struggles lead to the Woking outfit take its first major backstep since Andreas Seidl’s recovery plan.

McLaren finished third in the 2020 constructors’ championship. However, 2022 saw McLaren lose out to Alpine as the Woking team finished in a disappointing fifth.

The team are still waiting for their new wind tunnel to be completed. It is believed within the team that they cannot be frontrunners until the new wind tunnel has been completed to fight with the current frontrunners.

Ferrari gains “achievable” for McLaren in 2023

Ferrari took a big leap forward from 2021 heading into 2022. The Scuderia nailed the new regulations, producing a frontrunning car to challenge Red Bull.

Norris talked to Autosport, believing that McLaren must replicate Ferrari’s gains over the winter period. The Briton believes that matching Ferrari’s improvements is “achievable”, adding that what the Maranello team did was “extremely good”.

“Going from where they were [in 2021], from almost getting beat by us, to going to where they are getting wins, fighting for podiums every single weekend…That’s what we need to be aiming for.

“That level of a jump from one season to another. They’ve obviously had, not the luck, but they’ve maximised a new era, a new rules set for Formula 1 with new cars, which has allowed them to make a bigger jump than ever.

“But there’s still plenty of opportunities for us to achieve something like that. And that’s where we need to be setting our goals for.”

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - PracticeABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 18: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren walks in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 18, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Lando Norris, McLaren (Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
McLaren cannot afford to wait on new wind tunnel

Norris added the importance for the Woking team to not wait for the new wind tunnel. It is believed that the new wind tunnel will not impact the performance of the car until 2024.

The 23-year-old has urged for his team to make the best of the current resources and not to give up.

“The fact is, we have to do a better job and the team have to do a better job with making a better car.

“I think already next year we need to make progress. I have good faith that we can,” the Briton added.

“We have a huge amount of what we need in the right areas and the right people and so on.

“It’s just that final hurdle, the final thing to get us up to the same level to then have no excuse against Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari.

“The team know that they need to do a better job.”

F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands - Final PracticeZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 03: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 03, 2022 in Zandvoort, Netherlands.
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36 during the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix (Image Credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Time running out for McLaren improvements

Despite Norris being contracted to McLaren until 2025, the Briton concedes the jealousness of former teammate Carlos Sainz and Formula 2 rival George Russell winning races. The pair made switches to Ferrari and Mercedes, leading to maiden wins in 2022.

The 23-year-old has been linked to a move with Red Bull many times. Red Bull boss Christian Horner has not shied away from expressing his interest in the McLaren driver.

The Austrian team even tried to sign Norris to AlphaTauri, whilst the Briton was the reserve driver for McLaren in 2018.

“I wish I was there with them. Of course, I wish I was in that battle.

“I feel like I deserve to be in that battle. I feel like I can be, and I think it will be a great battle.

“But it’s just not the position that I’m in at the minute… I can race against them in the future, and I can do the same as what they’re doing.”

The Woking team lost former team principal Andreas Seidl to Alfa Romeo. Therefore, the team replaced the German with Andrea Stella.

Norris will also have a new teammate for 2023. Oscar Piastri replaces fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo with Ricciardo struggling with the Woking team. Many expect Piastri to give the Briton a tough fight after the Australian had dominated the junior categories.

Do you think McLaren can prove to Norris that they can win races in Formula 1 in the future?

Feature Image Credit: Dan Mullan via Getty Images

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