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What's going on with McLaren?  Brake problems, lack of grip and no Ferrari engine |  Formula 1

What’s going on with McLaren? Brake problems, lack of grip and no Ferrari engine | Formula 1

For the losers in the opening match of Formula 1 in Bahrain, you have to be at McLaren. At the beginning of this year they seemed to be able to break into the sky, but after the first race, they were steadily back on Earth again. Daniel Ricciardo scored 14th and Lando Norris 15th. What are they all dealing with?

The biggest problem with the new McLaren came a week and a half ago. During testing at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, the engineers found that the brakes were not working properly. They heated up very quickly.

McLaren immediately went looking for a solution, but that turned out to be a long search. A long search, which means that drivers were unable to complete the proposed test program and engineers were unable to develop the car further.

The result: McLaren started its first grand prix behind. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris had to chase all weekend and they ended up in the tail of the herd.

(read under the result)

Bahrain Grand Prix results
1. Charles Leclerc Monday / Ferrari
2. Carlos Sainz Spa / Ferrari
3. Lewis Hamilton Gbr / Mercedes
4. George Russell Gbr / Mercedes
5. Kevin Magnussen Dunn/Haas
6. Valtteri Bottas Vin / Alfa Romeo
7. Esteban Ocon Phra / Alps
8. Yuki Tsunoda Yap / Alpha Toure
9. Fernando Alonso Spa / Alpine
10. Zhou Guanyu Chen / Alfa Romeo
11. Mick Schumacher Dui / hare
12. Lance’s Outing Cannes / Aston Martin
13. Alexander Albon Tha / Williams
14. Daniel Ricciardo US / McLaren
15th. Lando Norris GBR / McLaren
16. Nicholas Latifek Can / Williams
17. Nico Hulkenberg Germany / Aston Martin
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lack of grip

In addition to the braking issues, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris also discussed the lack of grip on the new tires.

“I tested them all at once,” Ricciardo said after the race. “In some parts of the track the car still feels good, but overall now we have more weaknesses than strengths.”

“The team is working hard to get the car ready, but that will take some time,” Norris fears.

In recent years, McLaren seemed to be on its way to the top once again. “Everyone had high expectations, but that’s where we are now,” Norris said. “Hopefully we can remain optimistic.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “At the moment we have more weaknesses than strengths.”

No Ferrari engine

The team that has done its duty perfectly is Ferrari. The Italians finished first and second for the first time since 2019 on Sunday.

Other cars with Ferrari under the hood also performed well. Just look at Haas, last season’s class snail. In Bahrain, Kevin Magnussen sent the team to an impressive fifth.

For Formula 1 cars that use Mercedes as their power source, it’s a different story. Thanks to the Red Bulls’ withdrawal, the factory team was able to take third and fourth positions, but the customer teams did not make it into the top ten.

So like McLaren. And so it threatens to be a long season for the (former) first team that finished in the top 10 in nearly every race last year and finished fourth in the World Builders Championship.

Lando Norris in the new McLaren.