Bouncing around the Paul Ricard circuit, Lando Norris says the return of porpoising may not be a bad thing for McLaren as it could mean they have unlocked extra downforce.
McLaren is one of the teams that has had minimal porpoising in the early half of this season.
However, it was notable that the upgraded MCL36 was bouncing at the Paul Ricard circuit during Friday’s practice sessions.
McLaren had by far the most updates for their car, the team’s French Grand Prix package featuring revised sidepods, engine cover, floor, rear wing and rear brake ducts.
Norris was sixth fastest in FP2 while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo also broke into the top ten, the Aussie ninth fastest.
As such Norris says maybe the porpoising it a good sign for McLaren.
Friday in France finished. 🏁 A strong day for the team under hot weather conditions. ☀️
Quali, we're ready! 🙌#FrenchGP 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/z2hL5lx49o
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 22, 2022
“The last few races we’ve had quite a bit at times,” he said. “Silverstone, we had a lot as well. Not a surprise, not a shock.
“I am hoping…it is kind of a good thing. If we can improve the car sometimes that promotes porpoising.
“Apart from Red Bull, it seems like it is something Ferrari and Mercedes have had a lot of and they are obviously a lot quicker than us.
“So maybe Red Bull nailed it with all of their stuff but I think as we are trying to improve the car sometimes we expose this phenomenon and it is maybe not a bad thing sometimes.
“Sometimes it means you heading in the right direction so we’re trying to understand it and hopefully we can find it is a good thing, not a bad one.”
As for his thoughts on the updates, Norris says he still needs time to adapt as he only run them in the second session, using the old package in the opening practice.
“I wouldn’t say tricky,” he said, “it’s just this slight feeling you get behind the wheel. You are so sensitive to… you get so used to things.
“As soon as something feels just a little bit off, you have to figure out why that’s happening, what it’s doing, what the reasoning is for it and then how to overcome it and maximise it again.
“So it’s nothing like say good or bad. It’s just the limitation of the car is in different places through the corner and therefore you just got to adapt yourself to that.
“So I guess I’m playing a little bit of catch up and just trying to understand all of that, comparing to Daniel, but at the same time it’s been good because we’ve been able to compare data easily because we chose that strategy of me not having it, him having it, and therefore we can look at the data tonight and extract more performance for tomorrow.”
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