Lando Norris admits he is wary McLaren could have peaked too early in the weekend at the Mexico City Grand Prix after ending within a tenth of the fastest time in FP2.

Ahead of the weekend’s running, Norris insisted that he was anticipating the upcoming rounds in Mexico and Brazil being “tricky” for McLaren against its main rivals.

However, the Briton wound up fourth in FP1 before slotting into second in the second practice hour, only 0.119s shy of Max Verstappen at the top of the timesheets.

But having acknowledged multiple drivers were within “three-tenths” of the ultimate pace, Norris is cautious he might’ve displayed McLaren’s hand prematurely.

“I think it was a good Friday, a good start to the weekend anyway,” he said. “It’s close; the thing is it could swing very quickly either way.

“I did a good lap, maybe too good for this early in the weekend but yeah. We will continue to try and improve, but it’s a good start.”

While the Mercedes drivers were adamant there’s a lot more to come after a subdue Friday, Norris notes that McLaren won’t be able to unlock much more pace overnight.

Asked if there were any potential changes that could be made to bolster McLaren’s prospects even further, Norris replied: “Not a lot. I think we started the weekend off well.

“We generally start weekends off quite well and have a good idea where to put the car to begin with. It’s not far off normally where we end the weekend.

“There’s not a lot to gain through the weekend. There’s always little things and those little things add up.

“There’s still stuff to improve, also in my driving little things here and there, but to challenge the Red Bull is going to be tough around here.”

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL60. 27.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Practice Day.

Meanwhile, McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri encountered his debut experience at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Friday and the unique altitude at the venue.

The Australian lagged behind Norris, but he recorded a best time in both sessions that was good enough to be classified inside the top 10, slipping from sixth to ninth in FP2.

“Low grip! Definitely! It was a good first day I think,” he concurred with Norris.

“Car pace looks reasonable, the track is very low grip and takes a lot of getting used to, but it seems cool. I feel like I built up through the day and seemed like a reasonable FP2 session so still some things to tidy up and find time tomorrow but looking reasonable.”

Friday’s running was disrupted by Pirelli granting the teams an opportunity to run its 2024 prototype tyres at a race weekend, while the latter stages of the second session were interrupted by lingering rain showers.

Piastri is therefore hopeful of getting through a smoother programme in FP3 to ensure he can be in an optimal position for qualifying.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s on-track action, Piastri said: “I think some more laps, we will probably have some more qualifying attempts and stuff like that.

“The program today has been a bit more jumbled for everyone I think. So it’s a bit harder to get a proper read, but just more attempts. That’s all I usually need every weekend and hopefully by qualifying, it’s in the right place.”

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