Lando Norris hopes McLaren can 'combine' MCL33 specs

McLaren Formula 1 test and reserve driver Lando Norris says that there are positive elements of the older-spec MCL33 that the team should strive to retain, alongside its recently-introduced upgrade package.

McLaren introduced a striking revised nose section at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, with race drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne encouraged by the gains.

Norris completed test running in Spain on behalf of Pirelli on Tuesday morning, using the old-spec nose, and took the reins of McLaren’s MCL33, featuring the newer nose, on Wednesday.

When asked to compare the two respective packages, Norris said: “There’s definitely some differences.

“It’s positive I think in quite a few ways but there’s still some things with the old one which are always positive, so it’s trying to combine them and get both on one car which would make it even faster basically.

Norris using the older nose section on Tuesday

“I think in general [the new package has] a bit more downforce, it’s good for me having the confidence to push at Turns 1, 2, 3, all the high-speed corners, I think overall it’s definitely been a slight step forward.”

Norris reckons McLaren’s older-spec car was “slightly more forgiving” but believes that is a case of the team yet to fully exploit the latest upgrade.

“I wouldn’t say there’s many things which are weaker,” he said of the newer spec.

“I think in some ways [having] a bit more downforce with the newer package it becomes maybe a tiny bit more snappy or something, but overall I could still go through corners slightly faster or something.

“I think if I did make a mistake it’d be slightly more costly.

“I think the old one was a bit, not more predictable, but slightly more forgiving in some ways, I don’t think it’s maybe so much the downforce but [a case of] trying to maximise the newer package.”