McLaren’s Lando Norris is hopeful of improving his finishing position further this weekend, after claiming seventh in five recent races.
The British driver has already arrived in Singapore ahead of this weekend’s action at Marina Bay, with F1 returning to Singapore for the first time since the 2019 event.
Norris has finished in seventh place at five of the last six races, with the Belgian Grand Prix being the outlier as he finished 12th on that occasion.
With Norris also occupying seventh place in the Drivers’ Championship, the position of being ‘best of the rest’ behind the top three teams is one Norris is hopeful of improving on this weekend in Singapore.
Appearing on Sky F1 ahead of the weekend getting underway, Norris spoke about what’s likely in store for himself and McLaren on the streets of the Marina.
“Probably another seventh!” he joked.
“I mean, I would hope for a little bit better. But we’ll see. We’ve just got those top three teams ahead of us, quite a way ahead of us, so it’s hard to break the P7 streak.
“I think there’s been a couple of opportunities to do a little bit better, Zandvoort, I probably should have finished sixth ahead of Fernando [Alonso].
“Monza, I should have finished fifth, at least sixth, we should have finished fifth if we nailed everything.
“But we didn’t. I think there have been opportunities to do a little bit better and sometimes beat a Mercedes and beat the cars which are just struggling behind the top three, four, or five cars.”
A fresh new look for McLaren in Singapore
McLaren are set to roll out updates to their MCL36 for this weekend – as well as a livery tweak for the next two races – another upgrade push to get them through the final six races of the season, and Norris is hopeful that the usually chaotic nature of Singapore will allow McLaren to capitalise on other’s mistakes.
“I’m hoping Singapore will be that opportunity,” he said.
“It’s a great qualifying track, but a difficult race track. So, if we can get a good qualifying in, then hopefully that sets us up with some good points.
“It’s one of the most stressful tracks, just because there are so many opportunities to crash and to make very costly mistakes.
“It’s like Monaco in some ways, but a lot more bumpy, more high-speed sections. There are just a lot more corners and, therefore, more opportunities for it to go wrong. The races are normally a little bit chilled at the start because it’s difficult to overtake so everyone kind of falls in line and looks after the tyres.
“Then you get to the pitstop window and that’s where, all of a sudden, you go from maybe feeling a little bit relaxed to going all out and having to nail every lap, every corner – it’s one of your few opportunities to maybe gain a position or two positions, whatever. That’s when it’s just pretty stressful. You’re sweating because of the humidity, and the temperature, and you tend to lose three-four kilos of fluids throughout the whole race, physically it’s very stressful.
“Then you’re pretty much racing to the end, you’re giving it your all, you’re sometimes waiting for Safety Cars and VSCs to take advantage of, your head has to be so in the zone. As soon as you relax or you lose a little bit of focus, before you know it, it’s too late.”