Lando Norris: It’s ‘easy to forget’ McLaren’s recent past

McLaren have improved drastically in the last 18 months and now look to be the biggest challengers to Red Bull

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McLaren driver Lando Norris has tried to remind people of just how far the Formula 1 team has come in the past 18 months as he assesses the recent battles for victories, amid his second ever career pole position at the 2024 Spanish GP, and recent battles with Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

The British driver also picked up his first-ever Formula 1 race win earlier in the 2024 season at the Miami Grand Prix and he has finished on the podium in five of the last seven races. The exceptions being Monaco, where he finished fourth, and the recent Austrian GP where he had to retire due to a collision with Verstappen.

With teammate Oscar Piastri also performing very well, the expectations of McLaren have been growing rapidly and Norris thinks some perspective is required. 

“I think you have to look at the positives because we’re fresh off consecutive bad seasons,” Norris told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“So I think we definitely have to remind ourselves of how bad it’s been and the progress we’ve made. I think it’s easy to forget that very quickly. I think that’s good motivation for everyone is the knowledge of like last year, how bad we were versus where we are now. I think that’s encouraging for everyone in the team.”

Lando Norris celebrates pole position at the 2024 Spanish GP | McLaren F1 Team
Lando Norris celebrates pole position at the 2024 Spanish GP | McLaren F1 Team

Despite being one of the most decorated and illustrious names in the sport, McLaren have not won the Constructors’ Championship since 1998 and became a backmarker in recent seasons, with fortunes only changing partway through the 2023 F1 season. 

It took until the ninth race in 2023 season to get a car into the top five, but the British team have not looked back since. They are now a regular feature at the front of the grid. 

Easy to forget McLaren woes

Not wishing to suggest that McLaren should not still be striving to win races, Norris explained that this is all relative and they must behave like a team that is trying to win races and championships. 

“Reminding everyone of that I think is important, but at the same time, everything is relative,” Norris went on.

“Whether you’re fighting for first or 10th, when you have knowledge that you could have made better decisions, you could have potentially won a race then the win means even more.

“When you’re fighting for 10th and it might be for ninth, then you’re like, ‘ok it’s one or two points’, but when it’s second and you’re like, ‘I should have won a race’, you’re winning a freaking race.

“So it hurts more, but at the same time, I’m encouraged because having the knowledge that we should have won, it just kind of makes us more motivated to go into the next race weekend thinking, ‘ let’s try to make up for the last one’.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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