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Monday, December 4, 2023

McLaren catching Ferrari “doable” for third in F1 constructors struggle

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McLaren began the season off the tempo however following a change of idea and personnel reshuffle it has produced a powerful B-spec that turned the MCL60 right into a dependable podium contender.

PLUS: How McLaren has revamped its F1 team to become a contender again

Norris and team-mate Oscar Piastri turned the closest challengers of Pink Bull’s dominant Max Verstappen in Japan and Qatar, taking a double podium for the Woking workforce in each grands prix whereas Piastri additionally snatched a dash race win in Losail.

That allowed McLaren to get inside 11 factors of fourth-placed Aston Martin within the standings, whereas even the third place of Ferrari seems to have come underneath risk, with the Scuderia now solely 79 factors clear.

When requested if Ferrari can nonetheless be caught throughout the remaining 5 weekends, which embrace two extra sprints, Norris replied: “It’s doable, I believe so. A few races in the past it was 70-something [points] to Aston.

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“I believe we’re simply doing a very good job, not simply by way of tempo however we had a 1.8 second pit cease which is fairly spectacular from the fellows.

“They have been working extraordinarily laborious so to reward the entire workforce persistently is barely extra motivating and a much bigger enhance each weekend.”

Lando Norris, McLaren, third place, within the Press Convention

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

However Norris additionally cautioned that not each upcoming circuit will go well with the McLaren as a lot as its most popular high-downforce swoops of Suzuka and particularly Losail. Subsequently it won’t be capable to maintain taking house large hauls such because the 33 factors in Japan and 47 in Qatar, which included a dash.

“We all know that Mercedes are very fast, most likely nearly as fast as us [in Qatar], simply they maintain making errors,” he defined.

PLUS: How the F1 Qatar GP tyre farce flattered McLaren and hurt Verstappen

“So, I am positive if they’ve a clear weekend they may make our life a bit extra difficult, and due to this fact I am not as assured in saying it.

“It was solely three weekends in the past that Ferrari had been on pole and profitable races, and nothing has actually modified, it is only a completely different monitor. We’re wanting higher, they’re wanting a bit worse.

“I believe we’re undoubtedly not overconfident. We’re assured, I believe we have to be, however we all know there are nonetheless going to be some races the place we’re not going to be fairly as sturdy.”

Piastri, who took each his first F1 podium and dash win in Suzuka throughout a powerful rookie marketing campaign, felt catching Ferrari will likely be a “large problem” however not an unattainable one.

“Suzuka and [Qatar] have most likely been tracks we have been for fairly some time by way of what is going on to favour us,” the Australian added.

PLUS: The Alonso-style F1 trick that highlights Piastri’s star qualities

“There are going to be some races which might be going to be tougher and possibly will go well with different groups a bit higher.

“I believe 79 factors in what, 5 races and a few sprints? It is a large problem however we’ll give it a go. Hopefully we are able to do it.”

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