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‘We look like a good place’ – Norris and Ricciardo delighted with McLaren’s performance on day one in Budapest

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It was a positive first day of racing in Budapest for McLaren, with both cars finishing in the top five in the second practice session at the Hungaroring. And while both were happy with the team’s performance, they were quick to temper expectations towards the weekend.

Norris was fourth in FP1 and briefly topped the timesheets in FP2 after his first qualifying run on the soft tyre, but finished in P2, with only Charles Leclerc able to improve his time. And while encouraged by the MCL36’s improved display, Norris admitted McLaren may have been showing their hand a little more than their rivals.

“It’s good. I think the car just performs really well from the start, it performed well, I felt comfortable,” said Norris. “I think today is a bit more of an over-show of our performance just because we showed up more than what other people have, we’re definitely not fighting for Ferrari and Red Bull positions, but we seem to be in a good place.” to be.

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“I’m not too sure about the long-term positions, I haven’t looked at it yet, but things may be a little ahead of where we were in Paul Ricard, which is a good thing. It’s only Friday, the weather is meant to change tomorrow, so we’ll have to wait and see. But things are a little bit better than they were at the moment, so that’s positive.”

P2 Lando Norris ‘felt comfortable’ during Friday sessions

Norris heard on his team’s radio that he was being warned to stay off the curbs in FP2, and when asked if that was to protect his car’s new upgrades, he replied: “No new ones. [upgrades], it’s exactly what we had last weekend, it’s just better not to damage it just in case, with the rain and stuff tomorrow. Just be careful.

“But like we said, I think what I said yesterday. Today and this weekend we just managed to analyze a lot of last week’s stuff, with the new floor and new bits.

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“And also with this track, we have managed to put the car in a more optimized position so that it can perform better and sit more where it wants to be. In short, it’s more than just being a little bit safer with the parts, but yeah, it feels pretty reasonable.”

Daniel Ricciardo: ‘Fine tuning needed – but it’s a good day’

Teammate Daniel Ricciardo also had a pretty productive Friday. After finishing eighth in FP1, more than half a second behind Norris, he narrowed the gap in FP2 to just over two-tenths behind the Briton. The Australian driver was pleased with his performance, although he wasn’t sure where McLaren stands in the hierarchy.

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“I think it was a pretty competitive day, [but] you obviously don’t know what the others in FP2 are doing with the performance runs,” said Ricciardo. “But we were also quite competitive in FP1, so I hope that means we are really fast this weekend. I think the cars felt good this weekend, I think there are obviously a few corners where we want more, but overall around the lap I feel like we’ve had a decent car and hit the ground.

“We will still be working tonight as if we will still try to get more out of it because you have to expect the others to do that but for us I think there is still a little bit of fine tuning but it was definitely a good day .”