Norris joking with Sainz about Ferrari swap

Date published: July 28 2020

Carlos-Sainz-and-Lando-Norris-smiling-PA

With McLaren ahead of Ferrari in the early season standings, Lando Norris has been teasing Carlos Sainz about his move to Maranello.

Earlier this year Ferrari announced that Sainz would replace Sebastian Vettel as Charles Leclerc’s 2021 team-mate.

The decision was made before even a single competitive lap of 2020 had played out with some pundits wondering if Sainz is now regretting his move.

While McLaren is third in the Constructors’ standings on 41 points, Ferrari is lagging behind in fifth place with just 27.

Norris has been teasing his team-mate about his forthcoming move.

“There have been jokes made, but nothing which is rubbing it in,” he told Reuters.

“I know how karma works and how easily things can go the opposite way.

“I think we’re going to go to some races this season where Ferrari will beat us quite easily and Carlos will be the one saying ‘Look who’s laughing now’.

“I know that Formula One can change and they will probably do a very good job to return back to their normal ways of being very competitive.”

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For now, though, the British racer believes McLaren has an “opportunity” to beat the Scuderia this season.

While McLaren has shown early signs of improvement in this year’s championship, Ferrari has gone the other way.

Norris began his campaign with a third place at the Austrian Grand Prix, finishing behind the Ferrari of Leclerc.

Lando Norris

He followed that up with a fifth place at the Styrian Grand Prix where it became evident that Ferrari’s podium was more the result of good fortune than a good car.

A point-less Styrian race, the result of a lap 1 coming together between Leclerc and Vettel, cost Ferrari while a week later it was only the German in the points with Leclerc beaten to P10 by Sainz.

“We have an opportunity to beat Ferrari,” enthused Norris.

“We have an opportunity to fight them throughout the season.

“I think it would mean a lot to us as a team to take the next step and beat a team that’s been front-running for a few years, for many years, to show the progress we have made.

“It would give us a bit more of that drive to continue on and beat them into the future.”

The 20-year-old’s confidence in McLaren’s ability to fight Ferrari has also been boosted by Ferrari’s woeful upgrades.

The Italian stable introduced a raft of updates at the Styrian GP which they also raced in Hungary but without success.

McLaren’s big upgrade is still to come.

“We still have our upgrade,” Norris said. “Ferrari seem to be in a difficult position at the moment with what they are trying to do and achieve.

“They had their big upgrades, or a lot of them, for Budapest so it is looking more hopeful than we were expecting because they are performing nowhere near what we are used to.”

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