Lando Norris reckons Aston Martin is going slower with their updates, as he says McLaren is on course to catch Ferrari in F1 2023.
Third place on Sunday became runners up spot for Norris in the wake of the disqualification of fellow countryman Lewis Hamilton. Since the British GP where he took second place also, he has in fact been the second best driver in the championship behind Max Verstappen.
Five second place finishes plus a third place at Qatar have seen not just Norris but McLaren as well as rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri’s stock rise massively. Currently now lying sixth in the title race, his target is Carlos Sainz who is just 12 points ahead.
Fernando Alonso is fourth with the gap of 24 points. McLaren, like Norris are definitely on the up and with four races remaining. The team went past Aston Martin for fourth in the US GP and now sit 80 points behind Ferrari with four races remaining.
Norris feels they managed to get Aston Martin because the team went slower and slower with their updates and now they can catch Ferrari knowing the pace McLaren is showing. “I just wish it had got bigger (the gap against Ferrari),” he started. “I don’t know what you want me to say to that! That’s I guess where we’re looking? It’s our target.
“I think we are in a good rhythm. It’s been clear that Aston… I don’t know, they seem to have managed to make the car slower and slower with every upgrade that they’ve bought… They have! I mean they were racing Aston in the beginning of the year and I don’t know where they finished”.
“But you know, they were out in Q1 and then they’ve been struggling, so I don’t know what their issues are. But you know, they were very strong, they had a lot of points in the first half of the season and in the second half they’ve been struggling, and for us it’s vice versa”.
“So I think the main thing is that when you look at where we were, how bad Bahrain was for us, how many seconds off pole we were, you know my six pit stops in the first race of the season, I lost my PU straight away… So there are things that sort of put us on the back foot from the beginning and when you look at where we are now, to be fighting against a Red Bull, which was an unrealistic target for almost anyone, and fighting against a Mercedes”.
“As much as we are disappointed that we can’t go for a race win, when you put it in perspective of where we were and how much we’ve improved, I think it’s still an amazing day for us,” summed up Norris.
As a team, they have really come back majorly strong in the second part of the campaign. As per above, a massive difference compared to Bahrain and having gone above Aston Martin as noted above in the constructors’ championship, it is a very long shot at Ferrari but stranger things have happened and if they keep up their current form, who knows what the remaining four Grands Prix could throw up.
Here’s Lando Norris on leading and duel with Lewis Hamilton
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