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Lando Norris

Norris warns McLaren 'can't afford' Verstappen escape

Lando Norris has answered whether he is in the championship fight this season.

Verstappen Norris Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

Lando Norris has recognised two small mistakes in recent races has allowed Max Verstappen to escape in the championship, something he has warned McLaren that they "can't afford".

The McLaren driver moved to second in the drivers' championship last weekend after finishing P2 in the Spanish Grand Prix, although he quickly pointed out the negative in this. 

Whilst Norris is now second, he identified that his deficit to Verstappen has actually increased to 69 points, making it a significantly bigger challenge to topple the reigning world champion. 

Norris does believe he is in the championship fight this year, but knows he must be finishing ahead of the Red Bull driver to ensure he remains within striking distance.

"I think so, although I should have done better during the race," Norris told select media including RacingNews365

"We should have taken some points back on Max. In Canada there was potentially a chance to beat him. There were two races where I finished second and he won. Max has to stop winning to achieve that.

"Even though I have now moved up to second in the championship, it doesn't matter. I don't care if I'm second or tenth. 

"It is more about the gap with Max and he is still increasing that at the moment. That's something we can't afford or to let him run away with it a bit at this point of the season."

Small mistakes

Had it not been for two small mistakes in Canada and Spain, the standings would look very different. 

Norris pitted a lap too late in the Canadian Grand Prix and made a bad start last weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

If it was not for either error, then there is a great chance he would have won both races. 

Whilst Norris accepts that he cannot look back on mistakes and wonder what could have been, the Briton does feel he and McLaren can get the job done.

"If I had just made a better decision in Canada and if I had had a better start in Spain, we could have won two races," Norris conceded. 

"And I know there's a lot, and actually always a lot of 'what' and 'if', but we have what it takes. It's just about getting it all done."

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