223 laps – of which Lando Norris clocked up 104 on Tuesday – in two days for McLaren. It’s no wonder Norris was encouraged by his team’s efforts in pre-season testing at Barcelona, particularly as they managed just 88 in the same period last year.
McLaren are hoping to bounce back with aplomb this year after a 2018 campaign that ran out of steam very quickly – and the early signs at a sunny Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya have given them hope.
Tuesday was Norris’ first chance to drive the MCL34 in anger and he wasted little time getting to know his new machine, clocking the third-highest lap tally of any driver and the second fastest time to boot.
Times in testing should be taken with a pinch of salt, so it’s no surprise that Norris preferred to focus on the benefit of building a significant amount of mileage.
“The main positive is we got over 100 laps,” said Norris. “I think mileage was one of our main things compared to the last few years to improve on, so from that side of things, we’re happy, and obviously mileage is also good for myself to learn about the car and develop in the areas I’m not very good in.
“I don’t think there’s been any surprises. I think a lot of the things we tested or found out in the car, we had a decent understanding of. As a whole package, there’s obviously new things that we’ve learned from today and yesterday. But no surprises.”