Lando Norris, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Norris: McLaren don’t have a top-four car

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In the round-up: McLaren are five points away from third in the championship, but Lando Norris suspects their car is not among the four quickest at the moment.

What they say

McLaren are locked in the three-way battle for third place in the constructors’ championship with Racing Point, Renault and Ferrari. Just five points behind Racing Point going in to this weekend, Norris says their performance has been achieved despite having a slower car:

It’s the last few races where we can really make a big difference and get that extra position in the constructors if we can. But it’s not going to be easy at all.

I think Racing Point have probably been the quicker team throughout the whole season. I think that’s quite easy to admit. They’ve just had inconsistency with some of the drivers not being not allowed to do all the races and Nico [Hulkenberg] having to step in.

Even when we’ve had both of our drivers on full fitness for the whole season, they’re still ahead of us at the moment. So it’s tricky.

I don’t think we’re the third-best car or the fourth-best car, I think we’re a little bit behind. Where we can do a better job and where we’ve done a better job throughout the season is just the consistency and not making the mistakes of some of the other drivers and teams have made.

Our objective is to extract everything out the car because I think even when we do extract everything out of the car, maybe we’re just missing a little bit to be able to be confidently ahead of the rest of the midfield pack. But we’ll do our best and we’ll fight for it to the very last lap of Abu Dhabi.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

After teams were given the opportunity to test 2021 tyres during first and second practice, BaKano notes that Mercedes’ busy Friday running shows how dedicated they are to improving and seeking an advantage:

One of the topics mentioned before this grand prix was that teams would start working on the 2021 season. That explains why Mercedes, with nothing more to gain, used two sets of the 2021 tyre and ran a lot of laps on it.

Tyres are “all the rage” in F1 in the latest times, so start building on that. One of the reasons why even though it’s boring, Mercedes [dominance] is justified, is they keep on working to continue on top, regardless of the advantage they have over the others.

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 8 comments on “Norris: McLaren don’t have a top-four car”

    1. Lando talks himself up way too much, Lewis went vs Alonso. He easts Sainz for breakfast. Wish George Russel was in his seat. Hulkenberg made Sainz look meh…

    2. Sainz is better. So doesn’t matter.

      1. Both are close to each other, so it’s going to be a close one.

        Why is my radar flashing red?

    3. But at least McLaren are stronger than 2014-2018.

      1. At least they have good operation like Norris says. Even that was seriously lacking before.

    4. I would be surprised if the Renault was much better than the Mclaren.
      If Renault had kept Hulkenberg they’d likely have a solid 3rd in the constructors now.

      1. It might be the highs of the Renault are quite a bit better Daniel, but perhaps the lows (and DNF’s?) have been a bit more than McLaren – as Norris said, they had a good consistent season, which certainly Renault didn’t, just as RacingPoint didn’t. One could argue McLaren has been the better on track competitor, while the others have done better in their factories/over the winter, mostly.

    5. It’s COTD to say that Merceds is to be praised for running early development for next year, when they are obviously the only one who can take the time having already sown up both championships?

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