“They’re helping us to move forwards”– Lando Norris on McLaren’s partnership with Mercedes in 2021, with McLaren having new objectives.
McLaren has progressed immensely in the last couple of years. They finished 3rd on the constructors’ championship, and now they aim to maintain their position.
For that, they abandoned Renault’s power unit and switched to Mercedes’ powerhouse engine. Lando Norris claims that with Mercedes, they are actually developing.
“We went to Mercedes for a reason,” Norris told the In The Fast Lane podcast. “Because we believe they’re that little bit better, and they’re helping us to move forwards.
“We’re not going to go to them just because of past years or anything like that. It’s because we want to move forward and we believe that they’re that little bit better.”
“A lot of things are very similar [to driving with the Renault engine], but it is a little bit different,” the Briton explained. “With the power delivery, with the feeling of it all, the sound.
“There are all these little differences, some things better, some things maybe not quite as good as last year, but already improving a lot since the beginning of the season. There’s always areas to improve.”
But getting used to changes is difficult.
Norris claims that with a power unit change, there are a few technological changes he has to get used to. Which also includes a change in the steering wheel buttons.
“Probably one of the biggest differences for us drivers is the technology side of things. The buttons we have on the steering wheel, how you communicate with your engineers, how you communicate with your Mercedes engineers.
“A lot of that is very different to how Renault works. So it’s not just a feeling that’s different, but a lot of things in the pitlane, talking to your engineers, the names of the buttons you’re changing, and things like that are all different too.
“Even when you’re in the car, there is a difference in feeling. It sounds a little bit different, but it’s still an engine with eight gears that goes quite fast, and it’s got a lot of power and so on.”