McLaren prepare additional upgrades after Norris victory

Lando Norris secured his first F1 win in Miami, issuing a statement in the McLaren MCL38.

After over half a decade in F1, Lando Norris is a Grand Prix winner. The British driver was the victim of misfortune earlier in the weekend, having been taken out in the Sprint Race. Still, the speed in the MCL38 was clear from Free Practice. Frustratingly for McLaren, the inability to optimise the soft tyres in qualifying proved a limitation. Thankfully for Andrea Stella, his team showed excellent pace on race day.

After losing a position on the opening lap, Norris was facing an uphill battle in Miami. However, once Perez came into the pits, he took advantage of the clean air and produced brilliant times. The MCL38 was extremely competitive, both in terms of absolute pace and tyre management.

A stroke of luck with the Safety Car kept him in first after completing his mandatory stop. What was not fortunate, from McLaren’s perspective, was the performance Norris displayed in the final twenty laps. He crossed the line with a 7.6-second gap to Verstappen – who had no answer for the 24-year-old.

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More upgrades are on the way for McLaren

Heading into this weekend, there was plenty of excitement surrounding the McLaren garage. The British outfit brought their first upgrades of 2024 to Miami. This package was significant, featuring revisions to almost all aspects of the car – including the floor.

It was always expected that McLaren would make significant changes. After their mid-season development push last season, they started work on this year’s package slightly later than their rivals. Therefore, the improvements introduced this weekend were substantial.

Despite having to optimise there upgrades in a Sprint race weekend, notorious for being difficult in terms of set-up, Norris and Piastri showed brilliant speed.

Even more encouragingly for the British squad, more updates are on the way. Team principal Andrea Stella has explained that more improvements will arrive in the coming rounds. They will target specific areas, including low-speed performance.

Last season, the McLaren boss downplayed the impact of the team’s mid-season updates before the Austrian GP. Once again, he made sure to manage expectations before this weekend in Miami. In fact, he suggested that twelve months would be necessary to close the gap to Red Bull.

However, the first indications are very positive for the upgraded MCL38. Provided the engineers at Woking can continue to innovate and bring upgrades on schedule, Red Bull could have a reason to be worried.

McLaren’s strategy will be to introduce progressive updates throughout 2024. Andrea Stella’s personnel wanted to continue last season’s trajectory and establish an improved baseline for the rest of 2024.

On both counts, they have succeeded.

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