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Lando Norris

McLaren make admission as Norris awaits first win

Lando Norris is still awaiting his first grand prix win in Formula 1 and currently holds the record for the most career podium finishes without a trip to the top step.

Norris China
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has asserted his team must build a stronger car in order to deliver Lando Norris his first race win.

Norris enjoyed a strong weekend in China last time out as he took pole position for the sprint race but slipped down the field after running wide through Turn 2.

The following day, Norris was unable to contest for the victory in the grand prix but classified in second place, taking a second podium result of the season.

The 24-year-old currently holds the record for the most career podiums without a grand prix win with 15 top-three finishes to his name.

Following a missed opportunity during Saturday's sprint race in Shanghai, the British driver apologised to his team via radio for lap one, which his boss did not feel was necessary.

"Certainly he doesn't need to apologise because we need his apologies," Stella told Sky Sports F1.

"He knows that he could have done better, but we appreciate the maximum effort [he gives]. We work as a team and also, I think this just gives a sense of the kind of person is, like he feels I'm sure like: ‘I've disappointed the team.’

"Don't worry, Lando, you haven't disappointed the team. We need to give you a better car and then all things will become much easier, rather than always being on the limit to bring home some important results. So, it's more up to us."

'For the victory it looks like we have to wait'

In line with that thinking, the McLaren team principal did not feel a win was on the cards, even without being pushed wide on the first corner.

“I don't think we could have beaten [Max] Verstappen, so I think the best result, maximum potential, was actually second place," the Italian explained.

Norris would go on to vindicate himself by claiming that result in the grand prix the following day - against predictions, with the MCL38 not expected to be as competitive as rivals given the slow-speed corner profile of the Shanghai International Circuit.

Stella added that improvements to the MCL38 would be required to fight Verstappen's dominant Red Bull RB20.

"So, for the victory it looks like we have to wait, to upgrade the car a little bit more,” he said, with developments to the McLaren now expected for the next F1 race, the Miami Grand Prix.

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