McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri had differing opinions on their team’s chances in the Las Vegas Grand Prix after a tough opening day’s running.

Norris finished 11th and Piastri 14th in an extended and delayed second practice, as the McLaren MCL60 struggled around the low-grip, low-downforce Vegas circuit.

However, looking ahead, the two drivers had a different outlook, with Norris looking negatively on McLaren’s ability to match the team’s recent run of impressive results.

“At the minute not great,” he said of the team’s prospects. “I think a long way off where we’ve been the last few weekends.

“But probably as expected you know, similar to where we were in Monza and other low downforce circuits.

“So a struggle at the minute and I’m sure we can find some things into tomorrow and plenty of things for me to work on, but umm, yeah, not looking too good.”

Norris conceded that it was a “tough” and “tricky, tricky day” as he outlined just how challenging conditions out on track were.

“Not an easy circuit, you know, poor grip, easy to destroy the tyres quite quickly which is what we were doing,” he added.

“Just not my best day, struggled to get comfortable in the car, I wouldn’t say uncomfortable, just struggled to get a nice balance and find consistency and things like that. Not a great start.”

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL60. 16.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Practice Day.

However, Piastri was a tad more upbeat than Norris post-session, despite finishing three places lower down the pecking order than his more experienced team-mate.

Although Norris suggested that McLaren’s 2023 challenger fared “worse” on the high-fuel run he conducted, Piastri saw things differently.

“Yeah, I think it was a bit more competitive in the long run that we did,” he noted. “Still not where we wanted to be, but baby steps”

Piastri admitted “it was nice to finally get out on track” after FP2 was delayed by two and a half hours, but said that the circuit was “very very slippery” and a “pretty difficult track.”

The Australian rookie feels like the pecking order will remain mixed throughout the weekend due to difficulties with the tyres in the cool night temperatures of Vegas.

“Tyres we pretty difficult out there with a lot of graining so something to try and look at for tomorrow,” he said.

“Worse on the soft, you know, it seems quite mixed for everyone out there, some people having graining, some not, so we’ll see what we can do.

“Ferrari look very strong, but it seems quite mixed. I think everyone will do a lot of analysis at some point when we get some sleep first, but yeah definitely some things to look out for tomorrow but I think we looked better as the session went on.”

Due to what organisers called “logistical reasons” fans were escorted out of the circuit prior to the delayed FP2 running and Poastri was keen to stress he hopes for a better tomorrow.

“Hopefully, we can see the fans back tomorrow it is a bit of a shame they didn’t get to see any action,” he concluded.

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