Ricciardo and Norris confident McLaren’s pace is better than it looked in Friday practice
McLaren hovered around the cusp of the top 10 throughout Friday practice in Austria yet neither of their drivers, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, were too bothered by their place on the timesheets as both maintained that the Woking team had more up their sleeves for Saturday.
Daniel Ricciardo finished 12th in both Friday sessions, with Norris 10th then ninth at the Red Bull Ring, while midfield rivals Ferrari managed second and third in FP1, with Aston Martin fourth and fifth in FP2. And though the papaya cars seemed to be well behind their rivals on pace, Ricciardo said otherwise.
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“It actually didn’t feel that bad, so I am a bit surprised with the classification. We’re just lacking a little bit," he said. "There’s nothing which feels out of place with balance in the car; I assume it’s probably just a little bit everywhere.
“And I know there’s not many corners here but maybe we're just missing half a tenth everywhere and then obviously it adds up to… half a second or something and maybe that’s what we need,” he said.
As for Norris, who suffered a big Turn 2 slide in FP2 (above) as the clouds spat with drizzle, the Briton was also chipper about his team’s chances and agreed with Ricciardo that McLaren shouldn’t be judged by their place on Friday’s timesheets.
“I will blame the conditions for my spin, although it had nothing to do with it,” he joked. “But yes, it got a little bit trickier when it started spitting towards the end but it was more that I was at the end of my tyres or my tyres were getting older and I just made a little mistake.
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“We maybe didn’t look great in terms of pace but we’re confident, or I want to say we’re confident, we can put it all together back for tomorrow, and have a better day,” he concluded.
McLaren are 12 points ahead of Ferrari heading into the Austrian Grand Prix, the Scuderia having managed a double-points haul in the Styrian GP.