The F1 2022 still sensitive to the wind
Norris says it was a valuable lesson for his McLaren team after the problem was not highlighted in the first test of the year in Barcelona.
Wind sensitivity has been a bigger issue for some teams than others in recent years, and it was unclear whether the feature would carry over into the new aero package.
Norris completed just 50 laps on Thursday, the opening day of Bahrain testing, partly because of brake problems that prevented him from doing long stints.
Despite the limited mileage, the Englishman noted the team learned a lot on the MCL36.
“For sure the cars are always sensitive to the wind,” Norris said. “I think it’s a good thing that we discovered it, just because there was no wind in Barcelona. So it’s pretty good that we understood that it was still there.”
“F1 cars are always sensitive to wind, gusts etc. And just the difference on the track – it’s much warmer today than in Barcelona, so how the tires work, the car works.
“It’s a lot bumpier, so the way the car gets over the bumps and handles over the bumps, and the compromises you have to make with the settings are very different.
“So I think all of those things were tricky today. And we have to try to understand and understand, and we will continue to do that in the next couple of days.”
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36
Picture by: Motorsport Images
Drivers have reported that the 2022 cars are difficult to drive in slow corners, and Thursday’s tight Sakhir Turn 10 proved particularly difficult.
Norris made some interesting observations about why this was the case.
“I think the combination of two things, one is the wind, it was tailwind all day,” he explained.
“It makes it so much harder to stop the car etc. And in terms of downforce you just have a lot less than if you had headwind or no wind, for example.
“And secondly, with these different tyres, the bigger tyres, the way you have to set these cars up is stiffer, and then it’s quite a bumpy entry you have into that corner, and you also turn while braking.
“So when you put all of that together it’s not necessarily what an F1 car is designed to do and it makes it extremely tricky and very easy to lock the front tyre, go straight and puncture the tires, etc.”
Norris said early indications are that drivers will need to take a conservative approach to certain corners with the new cars.
“It’s difficult, especially when you put on new tyres, you want to push a bit more.
“It’s like you really have to follow your rhythm. I think it’s a similar case with other coins as well. It’s not about throwing it away, it looks like we are, and I think that’s like the effect of what’s happening.
“But realistically you have to be a bit more conservative with these cars, don’t try to push it. There are quite a few consequences.”