Lando Norris expects it will be a difficult challenge to upset Red Bull after Max Verstappen obliterated his rivals to take pole for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver was over half a second quicker than Oscar Piastri and 0.616s quicker than Norris, with the two McLaren's looking to seal the team's first podium at Suzuka since its win with Jenson Button in 2011.
Norris' best effort was just 0.035s off Piastri after he struggled to put together a better lap around the twisty Suzuka circuit.
"It was a very good day for us as a team with P2 and P3. Great job by Oscar today and as usual by Max," said Norris.
"[It's] tricky, it's not an easy circuit to put everything together always when it's so quick around here. The smallest mistake and it can make a big amount of lap time, so I'm happy it's been it's a good day."
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Norris: We'll do our best to make life difficult for Max
It is another race for McLaren that has yielded impressive form and put it in podium contention, following its car improvements earlier in the season.
Norris expects it will be tough to challenge Verstappen given his huge pole margin, but that he and Piastri could make it tougher for the team to seal the Constructors' Championship as Sergio Perez starts from 5th on the grid.
"Some of the most amazing McLaren stories come from here in Japan, so we're of course hoping for a good result tomorrow and we want to continue that tradition," said Norris.
"But it's going to be difficult. Max is doing a very good job, Red Bull is always doing a very good job, so we'll do our best to make life difficult and have a good race tomorrow."