Lando Norris has successfully completed his first runs behind the wheel of this year’s McLaren MCL33. The Woking team’s F1 Test & Reserve driver completed a total of 156 laps, 452-miles, at the Circuit de Barcelona in Catalunya, over the past two days (15-16 May).
Norris, who heads to round seven of this year’s FIA F2 Championship in Monaco later this month (25-26 May) with a 13-point advantage having led the title race since winning the opening event, drove a MCL33 for a Pirelli test yesterday morning (15 May), clocking 76-laps around the 2.9-mile Spanish track. His fastest lap was a 1min 20.997secs.
The BRDC SuperStar switched to the latest-specification McLaren today, featuring the new front aerodynamics that was raced for the first time by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the same venue. Lando's quickest time, a 1:18.039s, was the third fastest of the day during his 80-laps today.
It marked Lando’s third McLaren F1 test of his career following runs in Hungary (2 Aug) and Abu Dhabi (29 Nov). Norris, the reigning FIA European F3 Champion, recorded almost 250-miles at the Young Driver test at the Hungaroring then 407-miles at the Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi.
Lando Norris (GB): Born: Bristol, England. Aged 18.
“It’s been a good, enjoyable couple of days and was cool to drive the new McLaren for the first time. I drove yesterday morning, my first actual test in the McLaren MCL33 having done one lap in it at McLaren’s 2018 car launch. Also, it was my first test with Renault power and on a great track to test a F1 car – very high downforce, very fast. It was a Pirelli test and it all went smoothly. We can’t touch the car in any way, we have to leave it exactly how we start the test. So there’s a lot of time for me to try different things for myself but at the same time trying to feel the differences in the different tyres Pirelli give us. I only got out of the car once and so to get 76 laps in was good.”
“Today was a McLaren test specifically in the MCL33 with the new ‘nose’. I found positive differences when compared to last year’s McLaren, it’s definitely a step forward. Jumping from an F2 car to drive an F1 McLaren is a big step which takes time to get used to but the new car was good to drive and gave me confidence to push in the high-speed corners here. I didn’t reach the limit myself, there’s still more I need to squeeze out of it but that will come with more miles.”