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Lando Norris

Norris urges McLaren caution over potential Verstappen battle

Lando Norris has urged McLaren to push even further to be in regular race-winning contention despite victory in Miami.

Norris China
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Lando Norris has cautioned McLaren that more upgrades are needed to challenge Max Verstappen and Red Bull on a more regular basis. 

Norris defeated Verstappen in Miami last time out for his maiden grand prix win, as Verstappen struggled to match the pace of the upgraded McLaren after the safety car restart. 

McLaren brought its third big upgrade in under a year to Miami with the MCL38 proving the quickest machine on race day in Florida, giving rise to the expectations of the team vaulting into regular race-winning and even potentially championship-challenging contention. 

Norris believes that Imola, a track he has two podium finishes at, will be better suited to the package, but is wary of proclaiming McLaren to be right in the fight with Red Bull and Ferrari, which is established as the second-fastest team. 

"We are still third," Norris told media including RacingNews365 of McLaren's place in the pecking order.

"I think we are just better suited to Imola and potentially the upgrade is a little bit [more] as well, it has generally been one of our most successful tracks as a team and for me as a driver.

"So I would say we definitely took a step forward, but from what I know, other teams have upgrades here so I don't think we're getting ahead of ourselves."

McLaren needs more

Norris's win in Miami was dubbed by some as fortunate after he was able to complete his pit-stop behind a safety car and rejoin in the lead, going onto win by nearly seven seconds from Verstappen in a damaged Red Bull. 

Despite the strong showing, Norris still believes work needs to be done to the MCL38 as he fears McLaren will not "be there every weekend."

"I know I've put good confidence in the team and we're confident that we can take steps forward, but I made it clear that we're not going to be there every weekend," he added.

"I was lucky last weekend, with the safety car and strategy that worked out perfectly, but that is how races go sometimes.

"I wasn't just first because I was quickest at the time, but I was quickest on track and that was the first good sign we had and then it turned into something more. 

"The whole weekend was turning into something good, and we were showing that the car had made some good steps forward, but we need more if we want to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull more consistently.

"The team are doing a great job, they've made some good steps and we have more things hopefully coming in the future - and that is what we need to be there more often."

 

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