Norris McLaren Edges Closer to Top 2024

Norris: McLaren Edges Closer to Top


Lando Norris believes McLaren is nearing top form, challenging Ferrari and Red Bull, but acknowledges more progress is needed.

Norris emphasized that McLaren has, at best, the third fastest car of the 2024 Formula 1 season, despite his first victory in Miami.

McLaren introduced a comprehensive upgrade package at the previous round, which unlocked the pace of the MCL38 and helped Norris secure a decisive win.

The Briton benefited from a timely Safety Car period to exit the pits in the lead and controlled the pace to the end to beat Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

However, Norris had been lapping faster than Verstappen on older tires before his stop, leading to claims that McLaren had the fastest package.

After admitting that Miami wouldn’t fully exploit the potential of their upgrades, Norris expects McLaren to be even more competitive at Imola this weekend.

“I think we are better suited to Imola, we finished in the top 3 here, and with potentially a new small upgrade on the car as well, it could be good,” Norris said today.

“Imola has generally been one of our most successful tracks as a team and for me as a driver. I think we have definitely made a step forward. But other teams also have upgrades. So I don’t think we are pulling ahead. Red Bull and Ferrari have developments here, and I want to see what they deliver. We are still the third force until several races prove otherwise.”

“I know I have strong confidence in the team. I said we are convinced we can move forward. But I think I made it clear that we won’t be at the top every weekend.”

“I’m always honest; I’m happy to say I was lucky last weekend with the safety car and the strategy working perfectly. But that’s how races go sometimes. So, I wasn’t just first because I was the fastest at that moment. And I think that was the first good sign we had.”

“And then it turned into something bigger. But yes, we were the fastest at that moment on the track. We showed the car had made good progress. But we need more if we want to challenge Ferrari more consistently and then Red Bull.”

“The team is doing an excellent job. They’ve made good steps, and we hope more things will come in the future. And that’s what we need to be there more often.”

“But we are not miles away; at this stage, we’re talking about one or two tenths per lap between being in the lead and being able to stay in the lead in the race rather than being behind and not having what it takes.”

“So, I don’t think we have the perfect package from start to finish every weekend right now; I think we still have work to do. I don’t think we are on par with Ferrari and Red Bull. But we are getting closer, and we need a few more steps like we had in Miami to start talking about victories more often.”

For his teammate, Oscar Piastri, the confidence is also there. The Australian will finally have all the upgrades this weekend.

“Confidence is pretty high; we don’t want to be too confident because the tracks where we thought we’d struggle have been good, and those where we thought we’d be good have been a bit more challenging. It’s a bit hard to read. But Miami was one of my best weekends, so I’m confident for the upcoming weekend.”

“We’ve been battling with Red Bull, and it’s exciting. It’s a great boost for the team; it’s what we’ve been working towards for a year, ever since we started moving back in the right direction. So, it’s more confidence and a bit of motivation.”

Norris McLaren Edges Closer to Top 2024

Norris: McLaren Edges Closer to Top. Norris: McLaren Edges Closer to Top

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