Lando Norris highlights areas of improvement for McLaren to challenge Red Bull

McLaren have moved to become the main challengers to Red Bull in recent Grand Prix

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Lando Norris has highlighted the areas McLaren need to improve on after finishing second to Max Verstappen and Red Bull in Sunday’s 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. 

Following a difficult Qualifying session on Friday, where he only managed seventh, Norris enjoyed a good Sprint Race, finishing second behind Verstappen after topping the Sprint Shootout.

In the Brazilian GP, Norris made a great start from seventh on the grid, moving up to second before the red flag was brought out for an opening lap collision between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen.

Norris retained second at the restart and pursued Verstappen throughout the race. But the triple world champion was too strong, and Norris settled for second, securing his seventh podium of 2023.

“I think similar to what we saw in the sprint, I’m not far behind for the first 10-17 laps,” explained Norris, when asked about his pace. 

“But then, that final phase, I just dropped off a bit too much. I don’t know if it’s just we’re a bit slower, and I’m pushing a bit more to try and keep up, and then I pay the price.

“Or it’s just a little bit of our tyre degradation is not quite as good, and we suffer in the low speed quite a bit with the rear, and that’s where we struggle then with the lap time in the end.

“So yeah, clear things to improve on, like I said yesterday, but still a very positive day for us.”

Lando Norris with his trophy after 2023 Brazilian GP | McLaren

Finally in love with Brazil

Before finishing second in Sunday’s GP, Norris had never finished inside the top six at Interlagos and, in 2022, endured a weekend which was marred by food poisoning and a gearbox failure on Lap 50.

With second in both races and another pole position after topping the Sprint shootout, Norris secured 25 points from Brazil, putting him within three points of Fernando Alonso, who lies fourth in the driver’s standings.

McLaren also stretched their gap over Aston Martin in the battle for fourth in the constructors’ championship to 21 points despite Oscar Piastri failing to score after picking up damage on Lap 1.

“Yeah, no, I love Brazil. It’s one of my favourite places. I just haven’t had any good weekends [here]. It’s not that I have not liked Brazil. I love it,” added Norris.  

“I’m going to spend the next four days here. I came out the Monday before and spent some time with my friends. So I do enjoy it here.

“Of course, this weekend has turned things around a little bit. It’s definitely been a positive weekend, boosted my confidence here in Brazil, and I think that’s a very good thing.

“Another pole position. I would never count a sprint race pole as like a proper pole or a sprint race as a proper win. But yeah, I think it’s been a very good weekend from start to finish.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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