Norris reveals first Mercedes engine ‘is finished already’

Lando Norris has revealed that the first Mercedes engine installed in his McLaren “is finished already”, which leaves the Briton with the prospect of a grid penalty at some point this season.

Ferrari undertook precautionary engine changes on the cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz ahead of the start of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

But Norris says the PU changes in the McLaren camp – which included a new ICE and fresh turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K elements – were unavoidable.


“I took a whole new engine because the other one is finished already,” Norris disclosed after Friday’s second practice session.

Norris, who concluded FP2 12th but just over a second adrift from pacesetter Max Verstappen, is hoping for better fortunes in Jeddah after a pneumatic pressure leak turned his opening race in Bahrain into a pitstop exercise for himself and his crews.

    Read also: Norris insists McLaren is nowhere near being ‘in crisis’

But a spot among the top-ten will require a lot of work this weekend given the extraordinary tightness of F1’s midfield.

“t’s close. I think me to last place was split between two-tenths, so if I made a little mistake I was in last place,” Norris acknowledged.

“It’s just very close, the midfield. Alpine are up the road on the whole midfield pack, so they’ve done more to their front. And even Williams seem a lot quicker than us too.

“It feels alright, to be honest, the car. I’m struggling a bit with overall balance but we’re just doing the best with what we’ve got.”

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