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French Grand Prix qualifying, times, results, stream, start time, leaderboard, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz

McLaren’s Lando Norris said he was toying with Australian Daniel Ricciardo in an assessment of the team’s latest upgrades ahead of the French Grand Prix.

McLaren bought a new rear wing, engine cover and side pads, with the new package given to Ricciardo for the first practice session and Norris for the second.

“It’s not what I was dreaming of, but yeah, I don’t think we’re expecting too much,” Norris said.

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To see Ricciardo 2023 at McLaren | 00:39

“We expected a small step and it is too early to tell. I just drove it and things feel different – some things are a little better and some things we need to optimize and figure out. But yes, reasonable.

“Daniel had it this morning for FP1, so he understood a bit more. For me, I still need to know how to drive the car because it’s a little different in that regard. I guess I’m just playing around a bit with Daniel and trying to figure that out.

Ricciardo echoed the uncertainty of what the car would do after the upgrade.

“Yes, you can feel it, but also, we haven’t driven these cars on this track yet, so the reference [is] To another track, so I feel some differences but it’s not a back-to-back challenge if you will,” he said.

“In the long run, I’m not sure where we stand yet, I don’t see that very well. I think I’m more concerned with sorting everything out from a structured perspective and trying to better understand it after running around all day.

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There were new improvements on the McLaren car.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
There were new improvements on the McLaren car. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Elsewhere, Red Bull and Mercedes admitted they were not where they wanted to be from last practice and qualifying.

Carlos Sainz earned plenty of praise from rival teams when he stunned Ferrari in second practice on Friday, leading Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third ahead of Mercedes pair George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, but both teams admitted there was plenty of room for improvement.

Hamilton was particularly strong, telling reporters his car was struggling “everywhere” in a reliability assessment ahead of the 300th Formula One race.

“It wasn’t the best of the session because I lost the first one. I tried to get back up to speed as quickly as possible. I would say it was average,” he said.

“We have a lot of work to do, a lot to cover. The car is not amazing here. We don’t know why, but hopefully we’ll make a bit of a move on a night that we normally do.

“I’ll have to dig deeper into the data, but it looks like we’re underpowered. We’re a little behind this weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton entered in earnest. (Photo by Sylvan Thomas / AFP)Source: AFP

This was supported by Mercedes Group Principal Toto Wolff. Sky Sports The performance was practically a “fun”.

“It’s not where we want to be,” he said.

“We are testing several parts, but at the moment we lack speed.”

Elsewhere, finishing more than half a second behind Sainz in the second practice session, Verstappen said: “We still have a bit of work to do.”

“FP2 is a little bit difficult for us,” he said.

“We didn’t quite get the balance we were hoping for. But also, we were testing a few things with the car. We will try to see everyone tomorrow and be closer than we were today.”

Teammate Perez struggled to get on track in the second session after technical problems, telling reporters the team was “having some delays” but “nothing major”.

“I’m not very comfortable in the car at the moment,” added Perez.

“We have some good work and insights tonight and we have to try to pick up the best parts for tomorrow’s Qualifiers.”

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