Norris: McLaren stepping back has helped build a strong 2019 'platform'

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Lando Norris says McLaren's decision to step back with their car design in 2019 has allowed them to build a strong "platform".

After ending last season towards the back of the grid, this term begun with Norris making Q3 in the first two races with he and teammate Carlos Sainz scoring points in Bahrain.

It was understood that McLaren had found the cause of their problems in 2018 as far back as Hungary in late July which was too late to rectify, however, those lessons have been applied to the MCL34.

“We’ve tried to make [the car] a bit more simple this year,” Norris explained to Sky Sports.

“It was getting complicated and there were so many things leading onto different bits, which wasn’t confusing but it was just becoming complicated.

“In some ways, we took a couple of steps back to try and move forward, and we’ve given ourselves a better platform to start off.”

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The big challenge now for McLaren is developing their car to keep pace with the midfield.

But with ex-Toro Rosso designer James Key joining in Bahrain and former Porsche WEC chief Andreas Seidl coming in May, sporting director Gil de Ferran is hopeful.

“This is a team effort, and as a team working together really is something that makes a huge difference," he explained to Motorsport Week.

“There was a lot of effort into exactly that subject: how do we work better together? How do we collaborate better together? And, largely, with the same personnel, we have improved a lot.

“Hopefully we’ll continue to do that; it was James’ first weekend so he’s a new talent that comes into the team.

“Andreas will come later on in the year but I think as long as we keep improving on how we collaborate and work together we’ll continue to get better. Often not enough credit is given to that account.”