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Lando Norris

Norris provides worrying McLaren Monza outlook

The McLaren driver starts from ninth on the grid behind the Williams of Alex Albon and teammate Oscar Piastri.

Norris Italy Saturday
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Lando Norris is expecting a "tough" Italian Grand Prix for McLaren after only managing to qualify ninth on the grid.

The McLaren driver was 0.685secs off the best lap set by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to confirm the warning he had sent following a promising Friday practice run.

Norris and teammate Oscar Piastri have helped McLaren become a resurgent force since the Austrian Grand Prix with a number of stunning performances, though the circuit characteristics of Monza playing against the MCL60.

Asked where the deficit to the top lay, Norris told Sky Sports F1: "Just performance really, close as well [with] two-tenths it's three or four positions higher.

"I don't think we expected a lot more, but we said it already on Thursday that was gonna be a tough weekend for us with as long straights.

"We've improved a little bit but we're still a long, long way down on the others, so it's going to be a tough Sunday."

'Williams too quick for us'

Piastri starts from seventh on the grid behind Williams driver Alex Albon, who continued his fine form to secure a place on the third row alongside Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Assessing his race prospects from behind the aforementioned trio as well as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, Norris conceded: "I don't think we can really go forward, we're too slow on the straights to overtake.

"We basically cut everything off the wing that we could, we just have an inefficient car and that doesn't allow us to race very well. We'll try to get some positions off the line and the first lap, but the Mercedes is always very strong on race pace.

"The Williams, no matter how quickly we are on the corners, they're too quick for us on the straights."

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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