According to Lando Norris, McLaren's fifth-place finish in the championship was the best the team could hope for after a challenging 2022 Formula 1 season.
Alpine outperformed McLaren, which produced a less dependable but still faster car. The Woking team also wasn’t helped by Daniel Ricciardo’s well-publicized struggles. McLaren dropped from fourth to fifth as a result. Norris agreed that McLaren’s car couldn’t have accomplished much more than it did and believes the team belongs in P5. Yes, P5, it’s where we should be, Norris remarked. When there’s a shot at P4 and you feel like you could have had it, I suppose you feel really disappointed. However, Alpine has had four or five disastrous weekends for dependability while we have only had one, and they have a faster car for the rest of the year.
“So, to be honest, I think the fact that we managed to stay in a fight with them for so long shows how well we handled a worse package. I’m glad about that, therefore that’s why. We are P5, but there are a lot of positive aspects to our work. We simply started the season too far behind schedule, so hopefully we can start much earlier next year, make the advancements we did this year, and we’ll be much better placed.
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While acknowledging that McLaren’s car performance this year “hasn’t been good enough,” Norris praised the company’s progress in other operational areas, such as turning its pitstop weakness into a strength over the previous few seasons. The entire team did not perform a good enough job, and once more, the car we were driving was to blame, said Norris. “We are aware that this season has been extremely challenging for us. Next year, we need to make a move, and it seems like everyone is working hard to make that happen.
“I believe that everyone’s desire to beat Alpine to the finish line is simply motivation and energy. Everyone at the track, including the mechanics and engineers, did a great job in my opinion. I believe we took full use of all of the available opportunities. “In the hardest year for pitstops, the mechanics have done a fantastic job. We’ve had several weekends with the fastest pitstops despite using larger tyres and poorer weapons. So many sectors are improving and are on a favourable track. “To build a better car, every mechanic and engineer is more motivated than before. Even if it’s not simple, they have a solid plan in place.”
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