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McLaren runner-up again: MCL34 still has weak spots

McLaren second again
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D ie Results are reminiscent of earlier times. Ferrari before McLaren. The most successful team in Formula 1 history ahead of the second most successful. Ferrari set the record on both days of testing in Barcelona. McLaren followed at intervals of three and four tenths of a second, respectively. Carlos Sainz put in 1: 18.558 minutes on day one. Lando Norris undercut his teammates by five thousandths of a second 24 hours later. Or different. So far there has been a tie between the newcomers in the McLaren warehouse.

After the epidemic year 2018, in which McLaren only scored in ten out of 21 races, everything should and must get better at the traditional racing team from Woking. Although in Fernando Alonso you have probably lost the most complete driver in the field. The one who contributed 50 of 62 World Cup points last season.

Nevertheless, nobody at McLaren hangs their head. On the contrary. McLaren hopefuls Norris feels a positive mood in the factory. “The cohesion is better than last year. Although I wasn't as part of the team back then as I am now as a regular driver. But I can see that we are growing as a family. The group works in one direction. But we will still need time. ”

Norris wants to learn from strengths

Time to strengthen the cohesion. Time to improve the car. Norris first conclusion after 104 laps in the orange racing car is: “So far there have been no surprises. We have cleared a few construction sites compared to the previous year's model. But we certainly don't have a perfect car yet. There is still a lot of work to be done. We can't say that the car has already been cured of all the problems. ”We read between the lines: A happy driver sounds different. There is already some criticism hidden there. On the other hand, that doesn't sound like a dejected driver either.

Stefan Baldauf Lando Norris did 104 laps on the second day of testing. Makes 484 kilometers in the cockpit of the MCL34.

The McLaren was ailing last winter test. In eight days of testing, the drivers only pedaled 599 laps. After two days of testing in 2019, there are already 224. “The most positive thing so far is that we have covered many kilometers.” According to Norris, there were no major problems. “But they will definitely come. We have to identify them as quickly as possible so that they can all be resolved by Melbourne. ”

McLaren played through different setups with Norris at the wheel. The MCL34 was consciously trimmed to more oversteer or more understeer to find out whether the car reacts to setup changes as expected. “At the end of the test, we need to know which direction we're going. From then on we have to develop quickly and make the car faster, ”says Norris.

The second-placed driver from the previous Formula 2 season wants to learn the strengths of his new team-mate. “I want to combine them with my strengths.” But first the two have to work together to make McLaren stronger. In 2019, the team will at least have to dock again at the front midfield.


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