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McLaren "scratching heads" after baffling drop in form - Norris

McLaren "scratching heads" after baffling drop in form - Norris

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McLaren "scratching heads" after baffling drop in form - Norris

McLaren "scratching heads" after baffling drop in form - Norris

Lando Norris blamed both driver and car issues for a lack of pace in Friday practice that has left his McLaren team confused ahead of Sunday's Sakhir Grand Prix.

McLaren was left languishing behind close rivals Racing Point, Renault and AlphaTauri on the timesheets and Norris cited missed track time as a disadvantage as the team prepares to continue battle for third in the constructors' championship.

British driver Norris spent time in the pits after damaging his floor during his qualifying simulation run, before a separate mechanical issue finished his night off, limiting him to just 14 laps in the second session.

"I am partly to blame," he explained. "I made a mistake out of turn two and ran a bit wide on the exit kerb which damaged the floor which meant we had to change that and then we had a power unit issue after that which meant we couldn't run again.

"Not ideal because today has been quite tough in terms of trying to get a good balance in the car and trying to understand our pace because we seem to be struggling a bit, especially compared to last weekend.

"We needed those laps to kind of try some different things and get a reading on the balance. It is going to make our life more difficult over the rest of the weekend so we will do our homework and see if we can come back a little bit stronger."

The poor pace shown by both McLarens in Friday practice is in stark contrast to the strong pace of a week ago, when Norris and team-mate Carlos Sainz finished fourth and fifth on the more traditional GP layout in Sakhir.

When asked if he was taken aback by the lack of pace, Norris replied: "I guess so. Some things I kind of expected but when you are as far off as we were, you kind of scratch your head a little bit. It is weird.

"We have some strengths still. Some parts of it we are reasonably competitive and some parts we are a long way off. We have to understand, I think we are still running a bit more downforce than most because we are still fairly slow in the straights.

"We will have to look into a bit more. It is not easy. It's a different track, a different weekend. The characteristics and needs for the car are quite different so we need to do some work and understand."

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