Lando Norris sounds the alarm with worrying prediction after Canadian GP closeness

Michelle Foster
Lando Norris in the post-race press conference

Lando Norris speaks with the media in a press conference

Third on the Montreal grid but only two-hundredths down on pole position, Lando Norris is worried that Formula 1’s decision to put all-new cars on the grid in 2026 will end the close competition.

After two years of Red Bull’s dominance with the Milton Keynes team having got a march on their rivals when the sport introduced ground-effect aerodynamic cars, this season there’s finally competition.

Lando Norris worried ‘that’s all going to go in ‘26’

Not only have Red Bull already lost three races, but they are also having to fight hard for the victories they do secure.

Max Verstappen won the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix by 0.7s ahead of Lando Norris, McLaren were one of three teams to lead in Canada, and the latter was also a race weekend in which the top three on the grid were separated by 0.021s.

George Russell claimed pole position for Mercedes, his time matched by Verstappen, with Norris two-hundredths of a second down.

Norris is concerned the new 2026 cars with their revised engines could see the gaps once again go out.

“I think you’re not going to have days like this again,” he said after qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. “You’re not going to have days like the last few weeks probably until ‘26, ‘27, ‘28, pretty much like ‘28, ‘29.

“It’s how it’s always been. Every time there’s a regulation change, there’s big gaps. And even at the end of the last era, so 2020 or whatever it was, ‘21, things were getting closer again. You had still Red Bull against Mercedes, and everyone was getting closer.

“And then everything spread out again. Red Bull had their time, and now it seems like we’ve been able to catch up. So just as we’re getting there…

“I think probably looking ahead to next year already, next year should be an exciting year for everyone, just from first to last. I think it’s going to be exciting. But then that’s all going to go in ‘26.”

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There could be benefits, but it could be worse

Revealing the technical regulations for the 2026 championship, the F1 cars will be smaller, lighter and nimbler with DRS making away for an electrical boost.

The hope is for better racing and more overtaking, to “really to focus on re-establishing following car performance” as the FIA’s head of aerodynamics Jason Somerville put it.

Norris added: “It depends what you want. I think it’s still exciting now. I know it’s an exciting qualifying.

“There might be some benefits in the race for those regulations. There might be some things that are worse. The type of racing you’re going to get is probably quite different. So it’s complicated. It’s not a simple answer.

“I don’t know the answer at the same time. I don’t think anyone knows exactly how it’s going to pan out.

“Yeah, always at the end of these regulation changes we see days like today and we see closer battles between, now Mercedes up here as well. So that’s four teams who are fighting towards the top.

“Eight cars, you’re going to see different winners. And I think that’s exciting for people watching, but definitely you’re not going to have that in ‘26.

“So it depends if you want to kind of keep this excitement and keep this challenge that we have now, or if you want to change everything again and have another few years where it’s far apart.”

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