McLaren’s Lando Norris believes Red Bull will be ‘back on track’ next week in Japan, and admitted that he had laughed seeing how poorly the RB19 handled in Singapore.
Red Bull weren’t involved in the battle for the win in Singapore, with Max Verstappen salvaging a fifth place finish from his 11th place grid slot, while Sergio Perez secured eighth place.
It was a bizarre weekend for the runaway championship leaders, with the up-til-now dominant RB19 failing to get to grips with the Marina Bay circuit and allowing Ferrari to go toe to toe with McLaren and Mercedes for the victory.
Lando Norris ‘laughed’ at onboard footage of Red Bull
Speaking in the post-race press conference after securing second place, McLaren’s Lando Norris said he had a laugh when he saw the onboard footage of Verstappen’s struggles behind the wheel of the RB19 on Saturday, but said he doubts Red Bull’s downfall from the pinnacle of F1 has begun.
“They’re going to be back on track next weekend,” he said.
“I don’t know what they struggled with this weekend but, like, when I watched his onboard yesterday, I laughed because I’ve never seen a car that bad before. Max has also laughed about it. So we’ll see next weekend. I think they’ll probably be back at the top.”
Asked whether he believes the playing field might be more level going forward, Norris said: “I think there have always been great battles, it’s just between the best for the rest pack. Now the best of the rest is… I wouldn’t say it’s just us. I don’t think Aston Martin is far behind and they were very close at the beginning of the season, but they’ve dropped off.
“AlphaTauri were very quick this weekend, just didn’t put it together when they needed to. So I think it’s great. Often, if you didn’t have the best team there, the best team always seems to dominate and take away the show from the rest of it.”
Lando Norris: I’ve dreamt of more wins with Red Bull out of the way!
Norris pointed out that, with Red Bull out of the way, there would have been plenty of variety in terms of winners and podium finishers – pointing out that two or three different teams would have race wins to their name this year if the one dominant team was taken out of the equation.
“Often if you took away, you know, Mercedes a few years ago, Red Bull now,” he said, “the battles for the rest of the positions would have been incredible and many different winners every race., or even every season.
“Even for us this year, if we could compete a bit more against Red Bull, Mercedes would have won, Ferrari would have won – we potentially could have won in Silverstone and Budapest. I have dreamed of it a little bit!”