Lando Norris says that McLaren’s decision to install a new Power Unit for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was not precautionary, stating the engine is “finished already”.
Ahead of the race weekend in Jeddah, Norris had a number of new elements fitted to his Power Unit.
They included a fresh internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K.
However, as they are within the penalty-free quota, Norris was not handed a grid penalty for the event in Saudi Arabia unlike Charles Leclerc, who had a third Control Electronics component installed.
But as Norris suggests that the first engine can’t be used again in the future, it is likely that a penalty will be incurred on his side of the garage at some point during the 2023 season.
“I took a whole new engine because the other one is finished already,” Norris said after Friday practice.
Norris ended FP2 from the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in 12th place, while team-mate Oscar Piastri was 19th.
McLaren will be hoping for a stronger outing this weekend than Bahrain, as a pneumatic leak caused Norris to pit six times while an issue for Piastri forced the team to retire him early on.
Norris highlighted that the midfield pack appears to be extremely close, with just a handful of tenths between himself and the bottom of the timesheet.
“It’s close,” he said. “I think me to last place was split between two-tenths, so if I made a little mistake I was in last place.
“It’s just very close, the midfield. Alpine are up the road on the whole midfield pack, so they’ve done more to their front. And even Williams seem a lot quicker than us too.
“It feels alright, to be honest, the car. I’m struggling a bit with overall balance but we’re just doing the best with what we’ve got.”