After a one-two finish in 2021, Lando Norris quipped that he and McLaren are not quite expecting the same outcome this time around.
Norris and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo took an unexpected victory for the team at Monza last season, with Ricciardo taking top spot in what was the only one-two finish for any team in the 2021 season.
Norris was told to hold position behind his team-mate when both McLarens appeared on for the result, but the young Briton acknowledged the team may not be in the same box seat as they were last year.
Given the nature of the team’s battle with Alpine, Norris’ seventh-place standing in the Drivers’ Championship has been a key part of McLaren taking the fight to their rivals for fourth place in the Constructors’ standings – though Ricciardo lagging behind has been a factor in Alpine opening up a gap to McLaren.
But after having issues at the last low-downforce circuit at Spa, with Norris complaining the team had missed a trick with their DRS setup, he said the team have learned lessons to bring with them to Monza this weekend.
“I mean, our target will be to do exactly the same,” Norris smiled about his Italian GP chances when speaking to F1 TV.
“Hard to do any better than what we did there. You know, one-two is pretty much as good as it gets.
“Maybe this way, the same again, just the opposite way around. But we’ll see. I think it’s clear, you know, this season we’ve not been quite as competitive as last year, so I don’t think we’re coming in with as much confidence as what we did last year.
“But it’s still a track that in the past, we’ve always performed well at, and maybe we can perform better here than what we did in Spa.
“I think we’ve learned some things from Spa and the last few races, so if we can transfer that into some lap time this weekend, I’m sure we can score some good points.
“But the competition’s close with Alpine. They’re performing well, every single weekend. Low downforce, high downforce, they just have a good package in total.
“So yeah, tough fight but we’ll be pushing.”