Alpine claim they’ve ‘rattled’ Lando Norris as they respond to Mercedes comment

Alpine reclaimed fourth in the Constructors' at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

After reclaiming fourth in the Constructors’ Championship at the Singapore Grand Prix, McLaren’s time in the ‘best of the rest’ spot was very short-lived, as a strong haul of points in Japan for Alpine saw the French side reclaim the place.

Singapore was disastrous for Alpine, with both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon having suffered an engine failure.

It was made even worse for the Enstone-based side by McLaren claiming their first double top five of the season, as Lando Norris finished fourth with Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.

It saw the Woking-based team complete an incredible overhaul, given that they were almost 20 points behind ahead of Singapore.

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Alpine made sure, though, that McLaren’s time in fourth didn’t last long, as Ocon finished fourth and Alonso finished seventh at Suzuka.

The French side take a 13-point lead into the United States Grand Prix as a result, meaning it’s McLaren who once again have all the work to do.

Norris has continually said that his side aren’t good enough to battle Alpine and he was at it again after Suzuka, where he revealed it was “not a surprise” to drop back to fifth in the standings.

“Not good news, but not a surprise,” he said, discussing Alpine reclaiming fourth place.

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“Like I’ve said so many times, they’re so much quicker than us.

“I have no clue how we’re still fighting them in the championship. Like they are another league to us at the minute.

“I’m happy we’ve been able to fight them so far into the season, it shows we’ve done a very good job in all other areas, with reliability, with maximising our performances, taking opportunities, not making mistakes.

“They must’ve done a lot worse than us on all of those areas to only just be ahead of us in the championship with the car that they have.

“So… not a surprise I think. It’s not really a big fight at the minute, because they’re so much quicker.

“But we’ll keep trying. Yeah. Keep trying to limit the points loss we have at the minute.”

Alpine sporting director Alan Permane seems to think his side have the McLaren driver “rattled”, with Norris having some sort of thing about Alpine being considerably faster.

It could be an attempt at mind games; however, Permane doesn’t seem to care, with the French side targeting Mercedes, rather than McLaren.

“Lando keeps saying that doesn’t he? We only just need to be ahead,” said Permane.

“I’m not sure why he keeps on. I guess we’ve got him rattled.

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“We’re much more focused on Mercedes. We’re trying to beat Mercedes, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get ourselves on to that level.

“And of course we had a huge setback in Singapore, but I think here it’s back to normal and I would imagine the next races we can do the same.

“The car is clearly getting quicker and I think it’s getting closer to those top guys.”