Lando Norris says it's "pretty clear" that Alpine have the quickest car in the battle between them and McLaren in the Constructors' Championship.
McLaren is trailing Alpine by 13 points in the championship, after the French team brought significant upgrades to their floor for both cars at the Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix.
While McLaren exploited a late Safety Car period to enable both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo to finish in the top five at Singapore, at the next race in Japan only Norris finished with a solidarity point.
Meanwhile Alpine scored double points, with Esteban Ocon finishing in fourth place and Fernando Alonso finishing seventh to net 18 points.
"It was a good race for them. Yeah, simple as that. They [Alpine] are performing well," Norris told media.
"They're very quick, they have been since race one this year. We're putting up a good fight, I feel like we are doing a very good job."
When asked who he thinks has the fastest car, Norris didn't hesitate with his answer: "I think it's pretty clear… but not us."
This weekend Alpine have brought minor updates to their floor, in what should be their final upgrades for the season.
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Norris happy with strategy
Even though McLaren don't have a pace advantage over Alpine, Norris is happy with the teams strategy in the races and believes that will be the main way they outscore their rivals in the final four races.
"I'm happy with the job we're doing as a team in terms of strategy and maximising the car's potential and just doing what I think is best on every weekend.
"I think we will continue to do that, we'll continue to fight. It's not going to be easy by any means, they are doing a very good job, both drivers are driving well. So we'll see this weekend."