McLaren’s China F1 Race Pace Shocks After Sprint Trials

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McLaren's China F1 Race Pace Shocks After Sprint Trials
McLaren's Lando Norris

McLaren’s Lando Norris started in the first position for the sprint race on Saturday morning, which was 19 laps long. But he had a rough start and slipped down to seventh place. By the end of the race, he moved up to sixth because Fernando Alonso had to retire. He finished ahead of his teammate Oscar Piastri but behind both Ferrari cars.

During the race, McLaren’s pace compared to Ferrari seemed okay, just as the team expected for the weekend. However, everything changed on Sunday. Norris surprised everyone by finishing second, even beating one of the Red Bull cars. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc from Ferrari didn’t make it to the top five.

Norris was surprised by how well they did on Sunday. He said they didn’t see any signs of it on Saturday. Stella, the team boss, thought the cooler weather might have helped.

McLaren's China F1 Race Pace Shocks After Sprint Trials
McLaren’s Lando Norris

“In the sprint race, we didn’t think we could be faster than Ferrari. It was what we thought would happen,” Stella explained. “But on Sunday, things were different. The track was cooler, and that helped us keep our tires from getting too hot. So, our car’s strengths, like in qualifying, were useful.”

Piastri finished eighth after a crash between Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll during the safety car period. Ricciardo’s car hit Piastri’s, damaging Piastri’s diffuser, which is a part under the car that helps it stay stable. Stella said this damage made Piastri’s car slower by about four-tenths of a second per lap.

“It was a big problem,” Stella said. “When we found out how much it slowed him down, I didn’t think he could hold his position. But he did a good job adapting to the car’s changes and even kept Lewis Hamilton behind him, which is impressive.”


By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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