Lando Norris sends daunting warning to rivals after McLaren Singapore success

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris wears a backwards hat at Monza.

McLaren driver Lando Norris smiles while on the drivers' parade before the Italian Grand Prix.

The latest development push from McLaren worked a treat once more in Singapore, but Lando Norris warns rivals that they are yet to peak.

McLaren’s first upgrade stream for the MCL60, which began back at the Austrian Grand Prix, proved to be a revelation as the team fired themselves into the podium scene, having previously been battling to pick up a few points.

Norris meanwhile was armed with their next round of upgrades in Singapore, resulting in a further positive step as he secured a P2 finish, his third of the season, having harried Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for the win.

Lando Norris claims upgrades made Singapore podium possible

Sainz used former team-mate Norris as part of his defensive masterclass in Singapore, keeping the McLaren driver in DRS range to help combat the rampaging Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton behind, who were armed with fresh medium tyres on the alternate strategy.

Norris though felt he had the pace to hang with and challenge Sainz regardless as he showered his McLaren team with praise.

“Great race,” Norris told Formula1.com. “Definitely helped by Carlos in the end, I think he knew it was the best thing for him.

“It wasn’t just that he wanted me to have a P2 and to stand next to each other on the podium, but the best chance for him to finish first was to help me out and keep me behind him.

“I think the pace was there, I could have kept up with him and I did catch him and then he was just trying to hold me there, but we did what we had to do.

“I pushed of course as much as I could to create a gap and we both knew that final stint was going to have to be the stint of our life in a way to create a big of a gap as possible, but still look after the tyres in case they [Mercedes] caught us because we still need some life left to battle against them.

“I kind of expected George to get past me just out of the corner, because I lost the real completely, but I just had a little bit more straight-line speed, for once, and managed to stay ahead of him. Stressful, the last five, 10 laps were just dripping with sweat, getting in my eyes, stinging.

“But I’m so happy of course for the whole team. The upgrades paid off, this is down to that, we wouldn’t have finished on the podium this weekend without the upgrades, so big thanks to the team and another trophy for them.”

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Lando Norris declares “a lot more good stuff” coming for McLaren

Norris’ team-mate Oscar Piastri will receive the latest MCL60 upgrades for the Japanese Grand Prix, an immediate boost which Norris says will put both of them in the fight.

But, while he expects Red Bull to bounce back from their Singapore woes and ensure it was only a blip, he warns McLaren are not finished improving yet.

Asked how much excitement it gives going forward considering McLaren can now fight with Mercedes and Ferrari, Norris replied: “A lot. I still know there’s a lot more good stuff to come and I think that’s probably the most exciting thing.

“But there’s some excitement now for chances to finish on the podium, chances to fight for the win.

“I’m kind of expecting Red Bull to be dominant again for the next few weekends, but we’re getting there, we’re making progress and that’s the best thing we can do at this time. So super happy.

“Oscar is going to have the upgrades as well next week, so we’ll have two cars to battle and push the guys at the front and that’s going to help even more.

“Hats off to the team, they’re working hard, it’s paying off and it makes it even better when you get a trophy and a podium for them.”

With Aston Martin having failed to score in Singapore, McLaren’s hopes of snatching a P4 finish in the Constructors’ standings have become a touch more realistic, the gap to make up 78 points with seven rounds remaining.

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