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Formula 1

McLaren’s Bahrain testing brake problems ‘not an easy fix’

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris says the brake problems that plagued the team on the opening day of the Bahrain test will not be “an easy fix”.

After a trouble-free three days at Barcelona, the MCL36 had a much more complicated start to the second test at Sakhir.

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Norris, subbing in for an unwell Daniel Ricciardo, who was due to run instead, logged just 50 laps, leaving McLaren with the second-lowest lap total of any team.

Six teams got in at least twice as many laps and the only team McLaren beat in terms of mileage – Haas – was completely absent from the morning session due to delayed freight.

“As a whole, not the day we really wanted,” Norris said. “Daniel is not feeling so well so I decided to jump in, [it was] much easier to do it that way.

“But we had quite a few issues today with the car, we took a long time to figure it out and that limited us quite a bit to do the amount of laps we wanted to do.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Day One Sakhir, Bahrain

“It’s a bit frustrating, because especially here, being so different to Barcelona, we really wanted to try and understand as much as we could in the differences and how the car’s working here, on a much bumpier track, more difficult track… which I think we still did to a certain extent, we just couldn’t do any of the longer running.

“We made the most of it, but definitely some issues which held us back.”

Norris regularly ran deep in the afternoon session, most notably at Turn 1 and in particular at the tricky Turn 10.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Day One Sakhir, Bahrain

The profile of the second of those corners, which requires the driver to turn in while braking, and windy conditions both played a part in those offs, but Norris was also clearly stymied by his brakes.

“We just had problems with the brakes today,” he said. “Simple as that.

“The exact problems I’m not too sure, but it’s just temperatures and stuff, it just didn’t allow us to do long runs.

“Things we’re trying to fix for the next few days, it’s not going to be an easy fix. We’ll see what we can do. Everyone’s working hard to come up with something.”

Asked to elaborate on it not being “an easy fix” and whether this would preclude McLaren from doing long runs in Bahrain, Norris said: “I hope not. We hope to figure out things tonight, over tonight and into tomorrow and so on.

“But it was not just something we could just fix today, it’s not something that easy to fix. We’ll come up with compromises and things here and there to allow us to do more running for sure, the guys are already working on that.”

Norris said he he was “unsure yet” whether Ricciardo will take over the MCL36 on Friday.

“Of course we want him to get better,” said Norris, “he’s still not feeling well, but he’s resting, he’s sleeping, and we’ll see if he’s better tomorrow.”

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