Lando Norris says the battle for P4 in the Drivers’ Championship is giving him that extra push at race weekends.
The Briton started the season in style at the Austrian Grand Prix, scoring his first ever podium finish with P3, and since then he has kept his name in a large bunch of drivers battling it out for P4 in the Drivers’ Championship.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen will lock out the top three positions, and although Daniel Ricciardo is the current ‘best of the rest’ in P4 with 78 points, Charles Leclerc is only 15 points adrift of the Renault driver in P8.
Norris finds himself nestled in P5 on 65 points after losing that P4 spot following back-to-back races without points.
But that extremely close scrap for P4 is giving him an extra motivation to go racing with 6 rounds of the 2020 season to go.
“It’s nice to go into every weekend like this because you can find extra motivation thinking about it,” he told Motorsport.com.
“Of course, I don’t go into every weekend thinking about the Championship or trying to hold that position in the Championship, but it still motivates me and makes me push a little bit more.
“Obviously, there have been ups and downs. We started the year very well and managed to get the maximum from the first few races.
“As a team, we started very strongly, especially on my side. In this way, we had the advantage at first.”
Norris is wary though of Renault and Ricciardo after losing ground to the Aussie in recent weeks.
“Renault had a very strong rise in the middle of the season. I’ve made mistakes in a few places. Some tracks didn’t suit us as well as Renault,”he explained.
“We’re pushing too hard and trying to keep our position. But at the same time, it’s not that easy to achieve.
“One weekend we’re slightly ahead, while another weekend we may be slightly behind. So when we’re behind or we have the faster car, we try to get the maximum and earn more points.”
We're off to Portimão! 🇵🇹🏁
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 19, 2020
McLaren are yet to fully understand the benefits of updates like their new Mercedes-style nose cone which they have introduced, but Norris believes McLaren’s overall upgrades are giving them some momentum for the remainder of the season.
He also teased further upgrades to come for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
“We haven’t had many updates during the year. We started the season with a very good package and it took him a while to understand it,” the Briton explained.
“The updates we’re bringing in now, the updates we brought in at the beginning of the season, and the fact that we understand the car better every weekend.
“Understanding, working on and developing today’s cars is very challenging. We have a plan for that.
“We’ve had a few updates in Russia, and there’s still going to be some minor updates this weekend, but they’re still not updates that will allow us to get second place in the Championship or do special things.
“We’re trying to put it all together and we want to make sure the car is working properly. We are trying to get the maximum from the package.”