Lando Norris believes McLaren will continue to struggle at some circuits despite qualifying second for Sunday’s 2023 British Grand Prix.
After a tricky Friday, Norris shined in qualifying, briefly holding provisional pole before being pipped by Max Verstappen at the chequered flag, securing his first front-row start since taking pole position for the 2021 Russian GP.
“I was watching the TV screens,” Norris told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “I was surprised how long I was in the top four, but it all depended on when Max crossed the line.
“I think it’s clear we made some improvements, but there [is a] couple of weaknesses. A few tracks we know we’re going to struggle at. These tracks [is] where our strengths have come through.
“High speed is one of our strengths, and we had quite a bit of that it has improved the overall balance, and the performance has just taken a decent step forward.
“We’re very happy with the result. The team did a very good job, I put a good lap in with no mistakes, so I am happy with [qualifying].”
No change in mentality
McLaren’s upturn in pace may have seen them qualify second and third, respectively, neither could stop Verstappen from securing his fifth consecutive pole position by over two-tenths.
The pair, who remain good friends off-track, spend time together and have contested the virtual Spa 24 hours together in 2019, taking victory for Team Redline.
“We’ve always got along”, admitted Norris. “I think [because] mentalities are similar, we want to enjoy every minute in the paddock driving cars we love.
“But as soon as you put the helmet on, you kind of forget about everything else, and I think we have the correct amount of respect away from the track.
“I’m sure he wants to beat everyone and make them [look] silly. But [when the] time comes, and we are racing for wins or championships, [our relationship] could be put to the test.”