McLaren Drivers Concede "Chunk Behind" Red Bull, Ferrari After Testing

McLaren Drivers Concede “Chunk Behind” Red Bull, Ferrari After Testing

McLaren stars Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri predict a sizable gap to leading F1 teams Red Bull and Ferrari based on preseason impressions.

Following a testing period hampered by technical gremlins with their MCL38 car, the McLaren duo expects to trail the dominant pacesetters when the 2024 F1 season starts in Bahrain.

“We’re definitely quite a chunk behind Ferrari and quite a chunk behind Red Bull – I think they’re clearly a long way ahead,” said Norris after finishing testing well off the pace.

Piastri agreed Red Bull holds a “step ahead of everybody” while Ferrari occupies a clear second. He feels McLaren resides among a tight midfield mix striving to reach the front.

“If we want to start challenging for podiums regularly and trying to win races, we need to find a bit more,” the Australian conceded.

Norris believes McLaren still retains an edge on most rivals despite obvious deficits to the top two. After jumping Aston Martin for P4 last season, McLaren hopes to continue closing the gap.

With more refinement required to the MCL38, McLaren aims to unlock additional performance before lights out in Bahrain. But their drivers temper expectations for now, forecasting a big early points differential.

If preseason indicators prove accurate, Red Bull and Ferrari seem primed to continue dominating as McLaren leads the chase from a “chunk behind.”