Lando Norris says he’s excited to see the first stage of the McLaren Formula 1 team’s upgrade programme finally reach the track in Austria this weekend.

Norris acknowledged that the McLaren team has had to be patient after making few changes thus far this year while waiting for a major package to come through the system, with elements set to arrive in stages over the next three races.

After deciding on a change of philosophy the team brought a first step to Azerbaijan back in April, but that was never expected to provide a significant improvement in lap time, whereas hopes are high for the new package.

“Of course, I look forward to anything that's new,” said Norris. “And, of course, it's been a lot of work that's gone into it, too. I think we've been quite patient with what we've had.

“We've been chipping away at many other things at the same time. We've not brought a lot of pure lap time to the table over the since beginning of the year. Of course, we had the new floor in Baku, but that was for philosophy rather than absolute performance.

“But putting it all together, putting in the work that we've been doing – I think we've been doing a good job with what we've had, made the most of the opportunities that we've had. Maybe one or two that we've missed out on, but that's about it.”

Regarding the potential benefits he added: “Of course, it's not on track just yet. I'm confident it will be a step forward. But how much is the question. So I don't want to get too overexcited about all of it, like I never do!

“But yeah, it's a lot of work that's going into it. So I'm excited to see all of that kind of come through, and see what we're capable of doing.”

Lando Norris at Canadian GP 2023

Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri hopes that the latest package will lift the team out of the midfield and allow it to regularly challenge the top four contenders.

“That's the plan, obviously,” said the Australian. “We're looking forward to the upgrades that are coming soon. Hopefully, they're quicker. That's the plan, of course.

“But I think at the moment we're on our good days, probably at the top of the midfield, just, so we need to get out of that midfield and start being able to focus on the top four teams. So yeah, looking forward to that.”

Piastri also acknowledged that he’s looking forward to run on traditional tracks that he knows well after doing much of his rookie apprenticeship thus far on street and temporary venues, including several tracks that he hadn’t seen in F2 or in testing.

“The next four circuits are all circuits I've been to and more than once as well,” he said. “So that'll be nice. In saying that Barcelona was a similar story, and our pace was not very good.

“So it's not a given that it will be better for me. Of course, it's a little bit more comfortable going into the weekend, knowing these circuits a bit better, but a similar answer to what I said in Barcelona, everyone can get to the limit quicker and be right on it."

Regarding this weekend’s sprint format, which gives teams only FP1 in which to hone their cars, he said: "Yeah, it'll be tricky. I think at least Austria is a circuit we've all been to a lot, everyone on the ground, including the rookies. 

"So that should make things a little bit easier because it's also less corners and the walls a bit further away as well.

“But yeah, it's never easy when you only get one practice session. Saying that it's what I grew up with in the junior categories and F3 and F2. So it's still not that abnormal for me.”

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