Lando Norris claps back at Fernando Alonso for ‘overconfident’ remark

Michelle Foster
McLaren driver Lando Norris expressing an awkward look.

McLaren driver Lando Norris with an awkward look.

Lando Norris has clapped back at Fernando Alonso’s “overconfident” claims, saying McLaren are anything but and that’s just “Fernando, he’s always gonna say things”.

Slashing Aston Martin’s advantage in the championship from 137 points after round eight, the Canadian Grand Prix, to 49 points eight races later, the Japanese Grand Prix, it’s fair to say momentum is currently with McLaren.

The team has recorded five podiums in the last eight races to Aston Martin’s one, out-pacing their rivals in Formula 1’s development war.

Lando Norris: Fernando is Fernando, he’s always gonna say things

And with six races remaining, and McLaren seemingly on the up, it’s not inconceivable to see them taking fourth place off Aston Martin.

Alonso has all but ruled this out.

Speaking to the media in Qatar, the former McLaren driver said: “Obviously, they have the momentum for sure. They’ve been quite fast, but maybe we can see ups and downs for everybody.

“They’ve been very strong before the August break, in Austria, and in Silverstone. They were close to being both on the podium at Silverstone and then, Zandvoort, we were on the podium and they struggled a little bit.

“So,” he added, “it’s good if they’re overconfident and let’s see if we can beat them.”

The ‘overconfident’ comment was later put to Norris who said that’s just Alonso being Alonso and trying to play mind games with his opposition.

“How many points did we catch last weekend? Quite a few, over 20 I think,” said Norris. “So unless his maths is deteriorating, which it definitely isn’t… Fernando is Fernando, he’s always gonna say things.

“He always makes himself look very good or other makes other people look bad. He’s very good at that.

“I don’t think we’re overconfident in any way. I think we’re the last people who have ever been overconfident in saying anything, especially myself.

“I thought we were a lot more points behind so for us to be them within 49 or 47 whatever it is, with six races still to go, like with two cars performing well

“For them, they struggled to have two cars up there in Q3, or up there at the end of the race I would say it’s silly for him to think the opposite.

“But he’s a smart guy, he’s not silly anyways.

“I’m confident we can do it just because if we can have more P2 and P3s and things, of course it’s possible.”

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Although last time out in Japan McLaren secured a double podium behind Max Verstappen, this weekend Norris reckons Mercedes could come to the fore.

“I feel like Mercedes can be quick this weekend, maybe Ferrari not quite as strong. But I think our goal is to replicate what we did in Japan. And I think after Japan after looking at like the race pace, our pace was very strong, even compared to Max.

“I finished 19 seconds behind, I probably lost eight or eight, minimum find the VSC to Sergio. So like, would have finished, what 10, 11 12 seconds behind Max.

“I think that was pretty incredible for us to achieve such a thing. So our goal is to do the same this weekend, whether we can close it, or the gaps going to be bigger, it’s too difficult to say.

“Would it be a win? I don’t think so.”

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