Norris relishing ‘tense’ Ferrari/McLaren battle

Date published: June 3 2021 - Henry Valantine

Lando Norris Carlos Sainz McLaren Ferrari

Lando Norris says he is enjoying the fight between McLaren and Ferrari, adding that their battle does not allow either side to be complacent on any weekend.

Norris and his former team-mate Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari both finished on the podium last time out in Monaco, confirming the pace of both teams in the likely fight for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship behind Mercedes and Red Bull this season.

Charles Leclerc took a shock pole position for Ferrari on his home track, but his subsequent crash in qualifying ended up ruling him out of starting the race – which Norris says allowed McLaren to limit the damage that could have been inflicted on the team in their points tally.

Sainz recently put Norris in his bracket of drivers he feels could challenge for the World Championship one day, and the Briton is enjoying the tussle between both teams at the moment.

“It’s tense but it’s good,” Norris told Formula1.com. “It’s good for us as a team. It doesn’t allow us to get complacent or anything like that.

“I think we made the most of Monaco, especially with them being first and fourth [on the grid], and in the end I could have scored more points than them.

“That was good. I think we limited the blow in quite a big way because we knew they would be very quick there.”

 

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McLaren driver Norris has arguably been the stand-out performer on the grid so far in 2021, taking two podiums among four top-five finishes and putting himself third in the Drivers’ Championship heading into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

With Monaco and Baku’s layouts having completely different characteristics, the young Briton has faith that his team will be able to battle closely with the Scuderia again – and potentially finish in front of them on a circuit which relies on having strength in both top-line speed and balance through two technical sectors.

“I think we can be a little bit more confident coming here [to Baku] that we can repay the favour back to them and we can be a little bit stronger,” Norris added.

“It’s good, it’s exciting and it makes us push hard, so it’s good fun.”

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