McLaren driver Lando Norris is happy with the smooth manner in which McLaren has made a switch to Mercedes power. He said that he is rather anxious to see how much the car has gained as a result.
McLaren did not set the ground on fire with its performances across the three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain, but they also didn’t have any major hiccups.
This was done primarily to ensure no unnecessary pressure was placed on the team’s integration of the Mercedes PU.
Norris understands that it may yet take some time for the team to gain full knowledge of the new Mercedes power system, but said his early impression was positive.
Compared to Renault, which was powering McLaren till last year, Norris said this was a huge upgrade.
“Yes, altogether I think it’s been a very smooth operation with the Mercedes guys so far. We’re happy with how things have gone,” he said.
“The bit for me is understanding all the new switches and ways of working. That’s one of the biggest things to get used to. On the whole, it’s that little step forward in a lot of areas, but some areas still need some work.
“To understand the Mercedes engines it’s going to take us a while. It’s about getting used to things.
“We’re coming from Renault with fresh minds, a different perspective, different feelings and I really like we’ve been able to add and improve in some areas.
“So [it has been] very productive between ourselves and the Merc guys from HPP [High Performance Powertrains], and I think we can be happy with the improvements we’ve made.”
Norris insisted that there was still a lot for the team to iron out in terms of details and strategies as the season approaches.
“Still things to work on, not just with the car, but with the PU and so on, but we’re happy with the way things have gone,” he said.
“We will have to wait until qualifying to unlock the full potential and see what the baby’s got.”
Working with Daniel Ricciardo is also benefitting him.
“I feel like it was a productive three days, not just for the team but also for myself,” Norris said.
“I’ve been working on a lot of things with my engineers, my team around me, getting to know a few new faces, one being Daniel [Ricciardo], and two, the Mercedes guys.
“It’s been good. I’m happy, I feel confident, I came in with a better plan this year than the last two years. I feel more confident, more ready, so I’m happy.”