A trouble-filled Bahrain Grand Prix saw Lando Norris describe the race as “good pit stop practice” for McLaren’s mechanics.
Norris entered the pit lane six times during the race, leaving him in last place of the classified runners at the chequered flag.
McLaren has endured a difficult start to 2023, admitting that it is unhappy with its launch-spec car after missing development goals with it.
Speaking after the race in Bahrain, Norris said: “We just had too many issues.
“We had an issue we had to manage the whole race which is the reason he had to keep coming into the pits every few laps. Otherwise, it felt OK.”
When asked if the team was able to learn anything during the grand prix, he repiled: “Little bits and bobs. The main thing was good pit stop practice for the mechanics.”
Norris’ team-mate Oscar Piastri had a disappointing grand prix debut, as he was forced to park up with an electrical issue 15 laps into the race.
Despite the challenging commencement to his F1 career, Piastri says he was grateful to be back in a competitive environment.
“It was an electrical issue with the car, but unfortunately it was terminal,” he said. “A short debut but it was still nice to get back out there, do a first lap and be in a racing environment again.
“I think we were having a pretty reasonable race up to that point. A shame, but it was nice for the laps that I did anyway.
“Until that point [the retirement] it was feeling OK. I was struggling a little bit to stay with the DRS train, but a bit later in the stint we were pretty good on tyres, I think better than some of the cars around us.
“I think we were getting there. Me just being in a race environment, being in the dirty air again, all that stuff… it’s been a while since I’ve had to experience that.
“When I boxed, before I came to the pits I did about half a lap crawling around anyway. I knew it was going to be a pretty lonely race after that anyway. But it’s a shame we couldn’t get back out.”