Formula One

Norris: Low-speed Hungaroring ‘won’t be as good’ as Silverstone

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Lando Norris is keeping his expectations in check for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix despite McLaren’s remarkable display last time out at Silverstone.

McLaren has stepped up its performance since Austria where the team introduced the first instalment of an upgrade package that it continued to deploy at Silverstone.

After qualifying second and third, Norris and teammate Oscar Piastri concluded their British Grand Prix an impressive P2 and P4, with the Aussie missing out on a podium finish due to an ill-timed Safety Car.

Norris believes that McLaren capitalized on everything positive factor that the team had going for it at Silverstone, and that it will be hard-pressed to repeat in Hungary the strong performance it enjoyed at its home race.

“We enjoyed the moment, for sure, but we know we’re not competing for wins or even podiums, we weren’t close to that very often,” Norris told the media in Hungary on Thursday.

“A lot of things went right for this to happen, even though we should have had a P2 and a P3.

“I think the confidence came from knowing that we took a good step in the right direction. I think that’s just when people gain confidence that we were able to improve the car in those areas.

“But I don’t think anyone’s got overconfident in any way. I hope not.”

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates his second position in parc ferme. 09.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Norris noted that tight and twisty layouts such as the Hungaroring aren’t McLaren’s preferred terrain.

“No matter what the outlook of it all is, we’re not very good in the slow speed,” he explained.

“I guess we’re not terrible if you look at… if you fully focus on slow speed, we’re not so bad. If you look at Monaco, we’re normally not too bad in Monaco.

“When you have to start to make compromises, there are much bigger wins for us by performing well in high-speed than focusing so much on the low speed.

“So I guess we’re not bad here. If you look at last year, actually, it was not a bad weekend for us with a car that we struggled a lot with in the beginning of the season.

“So I still want to be hopeful, but I doubt it’s going to be as good as Silverstone because there’s no high-speed.”

Norris also suggested that Hungary might not prove to be McLaren’s most severe test for its updated MCL60.

“I don’t think it’s still the true test, I think there’s still going to be some tracks that are bad for us,” he reckoned.

“I don’t think this is a bad track for us just because the Tarmac we have here is a grippy Tarmac. The corners, they’re quite long corners, which I would also say is not our strength, but even if you say it’s slow speed, it’s not super-slow speed.

“So I think we’re going to have bigger tests of how bad is it going to get in some other tracks that are going to be coming up.

“It’ll be a good test, mainly because there’s no high speed. I guess maybe you have turn four and turn 11. But I feel like there’s not the biggest differences between cars because it’s more of a medium-speed corner than high-speed.

“But it’ll be a better test of where we stand. I think the last two tracks have made us look better than where we stand over the longevity of a whole season.”

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