P8 and P9 was what Norris managed in practice running on Friday, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ranking outside the top 10 in both FP1 and FP2.
With Alpine, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin cars all out-pacing the McLarens in FP2, Norris feels that the team need to find more pace from their car overnight – but isn’t panicking about the midfield just yet.
“Pierre’s looked fast already, maybe AlphaTauri is a little bit ahead,” Norris told Formula1.com.
“But you never know, we always make some good steps into P3 and the from P3 into qualy, changing the car.
“I don’t think we need to get too worried or anything. I’ve got confidence in myself that I can make some improvements, and the same goes for the team.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do just to get ahead of the midfield guys, before seeing if we can start to get behind Red Bull and Mercedes. We’ll see what we can do.”
FP2 ends prematurely. 🚩
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 27, 2021
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As for Ricciardo, he was impeded by Nikita Mazepin on his qualifying simulation in second practice, which perhaps left him further off the pace than anticipated.
But the ever-optimistic Aussie was pleased to be back out on track in what is his 200th Formula 1 race weekend – and feels that the team are set to lock horns with Constructors’ Championship rivals Ferrari once again.
“I think generally, it was nice to get back out there today,” he said to Formula1.com. “I think we had some good runs and then some to work on, but we got enough to figure out what to do tonight and steer us in a good direction tomorrow.
“We seemed to dodge the weather. I see F3 took all of our rain and we got the dry stuff, so it was fun to be back out on this track.
“Tonight, all the homework is to do with dry running, but honestly I have no preferences [on weather] at the moment – just go out there, go fast and have fun.
“I think we’re there or thereabouts [with Ferrari]. I wouldn’t look at my position today, but I think it’s close. We tend to make a bit more of a step [on] Saturdays, so hopefully that’s the case.
“Hopefully the battle’s on and it’s exciting for all involved.”