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McLaren hailed for taking innovative lead after years of 'catch up'

McLaren hailed for taking innovative lead after years of 'catch up'

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McLaren hailed for taking innovative lead after years of 'catch up'

McLaren hailed for taking innovative lead after years of 'catch up'
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Lando Norris believes McLaren has again become an innovation leader in the wake of its clever diffuser that was unveiled in pre-season testing in Bahrain.

The Woking-based team turned heads with a unique diffuser that sported continued strakes leading to the floor transition area, ensuring it complied with the new technical regulations.

Norris feels the component is a further sign of the progress the team is making as it attempts to return to the front of the Formula 1 grid.

"These kind of ideas are really cool," said Norris, speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Show.

"From a drivers' perspective, it is really awesome to see the guys and girls coming up with their own ideas and something that is leading the way in a different way rather than playing catch up.

"Looking at the past, a lot of it has been trying to get back onto a par with a lot of teams rather than trying to lead the way in different areas.

"We are coming together a bit more and we are going in the right direction. It is cool to see us bring out this difference and a talking point and other people like it.

"Hopefully, not a lot of people copy us and we are the only people who have it but I am sure in a few weeks, people will be changing to it whether it suits their car or not."

The irony, however, is Norris was unaware of the significance of the design ahead of the test.

Asked what had changed on the car over the winter, Norris replied: "Not much. A lot of people expected a lot of differences but there wasn't that much.

"We had to use a lot of our tokens just to put the Mercedes engine in the back of our car so not ideal, but at the same time, the guys and girls have been spending a lot of time making improvements elsewhere.

"The floor, everyone has been talking about. I didn't even know it was that special. Everyone has been going on about how special it was and how innovative and how different it was to the rest of the teams."

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