McLaren pace ‘not looking amazing’ – Norris

Jon Wilde
Lando Norris

Lando Norris tests positive COVID-19

Lando Norris is concerned McLaren’s pace for the Eifel Grand Prix is “not looking amazing” – but believes they can again make the most of their opportunities.

McLaren sit P3 in the F1 constructors’ World Championship standings but, by their own admission, have generally not been the third quickest car this year behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

At various points of the season, McLaren have been outpaced by Racing Point and Renault. But a greater degree of consistency overall, combined with the 15-point penalty Racing Point received in the ‘copying’ controversy, has enabled them to keep their noses ahead.

Norris, who is P4 in the drivers’ standings, thinks McLaren will have to be shrewd once more if they are to get the better of the midfield battle at the Nurburgring in unusual F1 conditions – it will be cool and possibly wet, with both of Friday’s practice sessions abandoned due to rain and fog which prevented the medical helicopter from flying.

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Asked by Sky Sports’ Natalie Pinkham where McLaren are in terms of pace compared to their nearest rivals, Norris replied: “Not looking amazing, honestly, because the last few weekends for us haven’t been that good.

“We had a good start to the season and kept good rhythm all the way up to halfway, but in the last two races we’ve tended to be a little bit more unlucky.

“The tracks maybe haven’t suited us quite as much, but we’ve done a good job so far this year in making the most of our own opportunities and even when we haven’t been the third or fourth best car we’ve still been in the points. We just need to continue to do that.

“We have some upgrades for the car and new parts which we are hoping will move us forward a little bit and make our lives a bit easier. But it will be a challenge no matter what. It should be fun and more motivating for me as a driver to try and do that little bit better compared to the others.”

Norris was denied a first F1 experience of the Nurburgring when Friday’s running was cancelled but with dry conditions expected for qualifying, he is looking forward to sampling the circuit.

“It puts a bit more pressure on the rest of the weekend, probably makes it a bit more challenging,” said the 20-year-old.

“It would have been nice to do some driving, especially in these conditions. They may not be the nicest but it’s normally good fun to drive in, so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow. It’s an opportunity to be on top of other people maybe taking a bit more time to be up to speed but we’ll wait and see.

“It’s a cool track and I’m mainly looking forward to driving, but if we can make opportunities happen because of other people taking a bit longer to get up to speed or making mistakes, then do it.”

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