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Formula 1, the turning point?  That’s why McLaren was better in Australia

Formula 1, the turning point? That’s why McLaren was better in Australia

Relief in McLaren. Walking’s Formula 1 team scored points for the first time in the 2022 season in Australia with two cars. Lando Norris finished the race in fifth place, just ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Great result after two disappointing race weekends. But where does the sudden increase in performance come from?

“It’s a very good weekend for us. Better results than P5 and P6 are possible. Good points we missed after the last races,” Norris said happily after the Grand Prix in Melbourne. In fact, McLaren advanced to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship with points from Australia. Before Alpine and Alfa Romeo.

So was McLaren able to keep the performance low? “A small part of the development was very hard work. We tried to get out of the car as much as possible. But this was mainly due to the track, which was very relevant to us,” Norris explains of the progress of the race. Team compared to last weekend. There are no upgrades to MCL36 in Australia. The car is still at the same level as in Bahrain, where the team is still far from the points.

Norris is adamant: Daniel will not leave disappointed fans

The positive result at the Albert Park Circuit is a great motivation for the entire team, which is struggling with major setbacks for the first time in many years. “We needed it. Bahrain was very difficult for us, so our expectations were very low,” Britain admits.

In the first part of the race, it was as if two McLaren cars were dealing with Mercedes drivers. No fights with third- and fourth-placed Hamilton and Russell. Instead, the field spread and Norris and Ricciardo drove lone races. The overtaking maneuver would have been conceivable only among the team players.

“Daniel has become very close to me. I thought I would fool the fans if I stood in front, but I’ll fight for myself. I know he’s pushing, and the home race is extra motivating,” Norris said. Nevertheless, he advanced beyond the Australian player.

“I was a bit better in the middle tires, but I loosened up the difficulties,” Daniel Ricciardo admits, as he was able to get the first points in his own race. “It’s a great result for the team and I hope the fans will be happy with the race.”

Ricciardo became intimately acquainted with his teammate Norris.Photo: LAT Images

Will McLaren increase only by distance?

The next stop is the primary class at Imola (22.04-24.04). Two McLaren drivers doubt whether they can maintain their good performance there. “I’m not so confident next weekend. Let’s see how it goes,” Norris said. Ricciardo also believes that McLaren’s performance will fluctuate over the next three to four races. Australia’s speed does not reflect the actual performance of the MCL36. However, taking a week off before Imola will give the team a chance to make some improvements to the car.

“Red Bull and Ferrari are definitely on top. We’m not far from Mercedes, but we’re still behind them. If we could get a little more out of the car, we could be better in midfield.” McLaren driver Norris.

Although Ricciardo describes the end of his own race as a “turning point”, he still does not seem 100 percent happy. “Obviously I should be happy, but, to be honest, I can not be fully satisfied until we get back on stage.”