The drama was already apparent during the test drives. The traditional British team struggled with overheating front brakes. Consequence: With only around 200 laps, McLaren covered the fewest test kilometers of all teams. A hastily concocted interim solution promised improvement. But the disaster continued into the GP weekend.
The German team boss Andreas Seidl now has to explain why it suddenly stopped working. Does he know it himself? The Bavarian shrugs his shoulders: “In addition to the problems that we already had, we also had to manage various parameters in the race to cool down the temperatures. That cost us even more performance.”
Alone: It’s not the heat that slows down the MCL 36. Apparently, the car also lacks the right balance.
Norris sobered: “We are far, far away. Not just a little, but far away. We have to get used to that.”
And now? A quick solution to the overall problem does not seem to be in sight, even if team boss Seidl hopes that the stop-and-go course in Bahrain simply did not suit the McLaren.
“We now have to see how the car performs on different track layouts,” says the German. “It looks like the track in Bahrain particularly exposed us to the weaknesses of our car.”
Norris, however, warns of a tough time ahead: “Everybody needs to know that there’s probably going to be some pain. McLaren and I expect a lot more, but that’s not possible at the moment,” he emphasizes, stretching the timeline wide: “In the coming months we have to understand what’s going on and how it can get better.”
Particular attention is paid to technical director James Key. The highly acclaimed Brit now has to show what he can do.