Thursday, 17 may 2018, 10:03 , by Matthew Scott
McLaren's revamped MCL33 is faster than the car which started the season, according to Lando Norris. The youngster took part in the mid-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya, putting in a lap time quicker than Stoffel Vandoorne had managed in qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix just a few days earlier.
Though fuel loads and settings are, of course, not disclosed, Norris' best time on Wednesday was three tenths quicker than Vandoorne had managed in the second round of qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya the weekend previously.
McLaren brought a raft of updates to Barcelona, including a striking redesigned nose, and Norris says an improvement in pace is noticeable as the team try to vault back into contention for podium finishes and wins.
"There's definitely some differences," Norris said. "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.
"I think in general it's a bit more downforce, it's good for me having the confidence to push at [turns] one, two, three, all the high-speed corners. I think overall it's definitely been a slight step forward. I wouldn't say there's many things which are weaker.
"I think in some ways, 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. 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 trying to maximize the newer package."