With his rookie season behind him, Lando Norris has spelled out areas of weakness within the British team of McLaren that require attention, if the team hope to prosper again in the 2020 season.
More specifically, the young brit, who had a strong 2019, (finishing 11th with 49 points) said more downforce will be key to finding success next year, as the team hope to build off their success from the year of the pig.
"Downforce, is it as simple as that," started Norris. "Downforce is always the biggest thing. And it's one of the things that it has improved so much from last year. And it's not just having more downforce, but efficiency, the characteristics of the car."
"The car still needs to work in different conditions, different winds, different cornering types, different speeds. And so things from our side like the pit stops with driving that we need to improve, and our efficiency as how we work as a team, but also with the car."
"The car suits some tracks a lot and some tracks not at all and it's trying to make the car suit ideally both, but maybe not so much suit one track, but also be then more competitive in the tracks we suffered in a lot more. So characteristics of how the car works and so on is the biggest base to improve."
Paying closer attention to 2019, though, the rookie driver said that their new driver line-up, and fresh management in the form of Andreas Seidl contributed to their best-of-the-rest finish.
"I think one of the biggest things that's changed is just having a fresh start, with two new drivers. You know, new people within the team and new management, I guess, with Andreas coming in. A lot of changes within the team which kind of refreshed everything, but at the same time, because the last two years have been so bad, I don't think coming into this year, for a good reason, we over-hyped as many things as in previous years."
"Always coming into Abu Dhabi everyone was so excited about how McLaren were going to do the next year because as a team, we said too many things which will making people overly confident. So I think we didn't do that, which was a good thing."
"People worked hard over the winter and with that, we then started testing and we weren't super happy with how testing went. But then as the race weekends went on, then the environment and everything started coming together more and more."
"So I think there has been a lot of key things - two new drivers, new management, new people looking after everyone. I think just putting everything together has made it all more enjoyable for the drivers, but also enjoyable for the team."
[Note: This story was written by me on FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]