Lando Norris revealed he is not confident about his chances for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, after quite a strong performance in Qatar a fortnight ago.
The Lusail International Circuit in Qatar layout allowed the McLaren MCL60 to perform at its best, as the resurgent British Formula 1 team pushed Red Bull quite hard with Oscar Piastri even winning the Sprint Race.
Norris was also in top form, and finished on the podium in both the Sprint and the Grand Prix, but the McLaren driver is wary of the challenge the Circuit of the Americas might pose.
Asked how he felt about his chances this weekend, Norris told the media on Thursday: “Not so confident.
“Just a lot more slow speed corners, which is not our strength,” he added. “I think it’s tough when you look at it. If we look at Singapore, obviously we’re not bad in Singapore, clearly not as strong as Ferrari but still not a bad race.
“But we know on these types of circuits, Mercedes is going to be very strong, Ferrari is going to be very strong, Aston, here in the past have been very strong. It’s just not a track… like we knew when we went to Qatar it was going to be a track which really suited us: a lot of medium high speed which is where we’re very strong and almost on par with Red Bull,” he explained.
“Less of that here and a lot more slow speed so I’m definitely not as confident but nevertheless, I’m not saying it’s going to be a bad weekend. I think we can still fight. It’s just going to be a much bigger fight, I think,” the Briton maintained.
Track limits struggles from Qatar don’t require any change in approach
Despite his strong form in Qatar, Norris fell prey to the track limits and lost his second place in qualifying, while a mistake in the Sprint Shootout meant Piastri beat him to the top starting spot.
“Honestly, I’m not going to change that much,” the 23-year-old said when asked of he needed to change anything in his driving to avoid track limits’ penalties.
“The margins are so small and the thing which made it all worse is, I was… not easily but… I should have been on pole in both… I say both occasions, definitely for Saturday, maybe not so much for Sunday, but at worst, I should have been first and second or second and first.
“So when I realised what could have been, and what should have been then coming to the race, how strong our race pace was on Sunday and at parts quicker than the Red Bull, I feel like there was a lot of missed opportunities from my side but at the same time, there’s been plenty of other races where I’ve not made mistakes and I feel like I’ve performed very well but obviously the ones which always picked up all the bad cases.
“So yeah, I made the mistakes, I was frustrated at the time. I’ve moved on and I guess, yeah, it happens to everyone but I’ll try and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Norris concluded.