ADVERTISEMENT
lando norris mclaren

Norris fears remaining races not good for McLaren

lando norris mclaren

Lando Norris took another second place at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday but feared his resurgent McLaren team may have failed to capitalise on their best chance of a win this season.

The 23-year-old Briton has finished runner-up five times this year and six times in a Formula 1 career that remains without a victory, in 100 starts.

Sunday’s latest second came when stewards disqualified Mercedes’ seven-times F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton from that position long after the podium celebrations at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

ADVERTISEMENT

If that was an unexpected bonus, with McLaren also overtaking Aston Martin for fourth place overall, Norris was still beating himself up for the one that got away two weeks earlier in Qatar, where he finished third after starting 10th.

Australian rookie teammate Oscar Piastri won the sprint at Lusail and was second in the race the next day.

Speaking to reporters at COTA, Norris said: “I think Qatar was our best chance of winning a race. And I missed out on that one. I think there’s no… Qatar-style circuits left which is where we’re strong.

“If you looked at the GPS and the overlays of how bad we are in the slow speed I’m not looking forward to Brazil. I think we’re going to be pretty shocking there,” predicted the Englishman

On Sunday in Texas, from P2 on the grid, Norris seized the lead from Ferrari’s pole starter Charles Leclerc, like Hamilton also later disqualified, at the first corner in Austin and led until the half distance when Red Bull’s eventual winner Max Verstappen overtook him.

Lando: I think our best have gone

Image

Verstappen went on to celebrate his 50th win and record-equalling 15th in 18 races this season. The Dutch driver pointed out to Norris that the Briton had a good record in Abu Dhabi, which hosts next month’s season-ender after rounds in Mexico, Brazil and Las Vegas.

“Maybe Abu Dhabi, you never know. We’ll see. I don’t think they’re any good ones for us coming up,” said Norris, who is close to ousting now-retired Nick Heidfeld for the record of most podium appearances without a win.

The Briton is now on 12, with Heidfeld taking 13 before he departed in 2011. Eight of the German’s podiums were second places.

Norris lamented: “I think our best have gone. I just want to be hopeful that we can do good results and I think we can still fight for podiums but these guys (Red Bull and Mercedes) are too quick for me.

“We can look decent, but I think realistically we’re not at that level as a general package with these guys. So yeah, not great ones coming up but Vegas, Abu Dhabi are probably the better ones,” added Norris, who lies sixth in the 2023 F1 Championship standings.

The result on Sunday, also saw McLaren take fourth place from Aston Martin in the F1 constructors’ standings, with four rounds remaining. Next up this weekend is the Mexico City Grand Prix.  (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)