Lando Norris admits McLaren uncertainty

McLaren finished fifth in the constructors’ championship in 2022. after an underwhelming season.

Every team was handed a golden opportunity to become a podium challenging team in 2022, with a whole host of regulation changes designed to improve the quality of racing in the sport being introduced at the start of the year.

Some teams took full advantage of this opportunity at the start of the season, with Alfa Romeo and Haas securing strong results at the season opener in Bahrain, while other teams faltered.

Only two drivers finished the race in Bahrain behind the McLaren drivers, and one of those was Nico Hulkenberg who was standing in last minute for the ill Sebastian Vettel, capping the worst possible start to the year for the team.

Lando Norris has spoken to Sky Sports about his thoughts on McLaren’s season, and while agreeing that they did not live up to expectations, he has not written off his team for the future.

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“I mean, from where we were in race one, I think we’ve done a good job, we recovered well,” said the 23-year-old.

“If I think of before the season, did we achieve in 2022 what we should have done as McLaren? Honestly, it’s no.

“I have faith in McLaren, I have faith in the guys I work with, the whole team.

“Time will tell. You can never be 100 per cent certain where you’re going to be, but you can have a good shot at it.”

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Norris has formed strong bonds with both Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo during his time with McLaren, but will be forced to work with a new teammate in 2023.

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Ricciardo’s below par performances have seen the team replace him with young Australian Oscar Piastri for next season, leading to a different dynamic in the team where for the first time in his career, Lando Norris will be the senior driver.

Norris has been tipped as a future world champion so he will be hoping to see his team make strikes forward next season and provide him with a better car, as he reaches a point in his career where he becomes deserving of a title challenging car.

Red Bull have held a long-standing interest in the 23-year-old, and with Sergio Perez out of contract at the end of 2024, Norris might have his eye on replacing the Mexican should McLaren not be matching his expectations in two years time.