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Lando Norris

Norris reveals 'signs of hope' in Red Bull fight

Red Bull enjoyed a highly successful season-opening event in Bahrain but Lando Norris is encouraged that the reigning World Champions could be challenged this year.

Norris McLaren Saudi Arabia 2024
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Lando Norris has detailed that there are “signs of hope” that the Formula 1 competition will be able to challenge Red Bull this season.

Red Bull opened the new campaign with a one-two finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix with Max Verstappen leading teammate Sergio Perez across the line.

It marked another commanding victory for Verstappen who was unchallenged throughout the 57-lap event, having taken the start from pole position.

Carlos Sainz was third for Ferrari but crossed the line over 25 seconds down on Verstappen, whilst Norris was sixth on the road for McLaren having scored his first points at a season-opening race since 2021, with the team enjoying a much stronger start at the first round compared to last year.

Red Bull's unchallenged run to victory came as little surprise as the Milton Keynes-based squad goes in the hunt for another dominant season after winning 21 out of 22 races staged last year.

Norris encouraged

On the gap to Red Bull, Norris told media including RacingNews365: “I don't think it was concerning at all, honestly.

“I think considering how much we’ve still been able to close the gap, considering that they spent a lot of time developing and making a new car for this year, I'm pretty happy with how close we were to Red Bull.

“Even in qualifying, it wasn't like he [Verstappen] had an easy one and was that convincing.

“I’m sure they’re still learning about the car, it's a very different concept they have.

“I think it’s what everyone should expect, they started their development on that car, a long time before everyone else.

“You're not surprised at all but we were surprised at how close we are and how close a lot of teams were.

“Even when you look at Carlos, relative to Sergio, if Carlos wasn't stuck behind Sergio in the middle stint, [the gap] probably wouldn't have been as big. I think [it's] signs of hope for everyone.”

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