Lando Norris brushes off allegation

Lando Norris has dismissed a rival's mind games as McLaren seeks to continue its momentum around Qatar.

Lando Norris has responded to Fernando Alonso’s recent remarks about McLaren’s perceived overconfidence in their battle with Aston Martin, stating that Alonso’s comments are just a part of his nature.

McLaren has been on a remarkable resurgence in the Formula 1 championship, narrowing the gap to Aston Martin from 137 points after the Canadian Grand Prix to just 49 points in the eight races that followed, with the Japanese Grand Prix being the latest.

During this period, McLaren has secured five podium finishes compared to Aston Martin’s one, showcasing their strong form in the ongoing development war in Formula 1. 

With six races remaining in the season and McLaren showing signs of improvement, the prospect of McLaren overtaking Aston Martin for fourth place in the championship is not out of reach.

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However, Fernando Alonso has alluded to the possibility of ups and downs in the remaining races. 

Speaking to the media in Qatar, he said, “Obviously, they have the momentum for sure. 

“They’ve been quite fast, but maybe we can see ups and downs for everybody.”

Alonso’s comment on McLaren being “overconfident” was brought to Lando Norris’s attention. Norris brushed off the remark, characterising it as typical Alonso behavior, aimed at playing mind games with his rivals. 

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Norris responded, “Fernando is Fernando, he’s always gonna say things. 

“He always makes himself look very good or makes other people look bad. 

“He’s very good at that.”

Norris refuted any claims of overconfidence within McLaren, emphasising the team’s humility and realistic approach. 

He noted the significant points gained in the previous race weekend and expressed confidence in their abilities. “I don’t think we’re overconfident in any way. 

“I thought we were a lot more points behind, so for us to be within 49 or 47, whatever it is, with six races still to go, like with two cars performing well… 

“I’m confident we can do it,” Norris stated.

As McLaren prepares for the Qatar Grand Prix, Norris anticipates strong competition, particularly from Mercedes. 

He believes that Mercedes could perform well this weekend, while Ferrari may face some challenges. 

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Norris’s goal is to replicate the success McLaren achieved in Japan, where they secured a double podium behind Max Verstappen. 

He noted that their race pace in Japan was impressive, and he aims to maintain that level of performance in Qatar.

“I think our goal is to do the same this weekend, whether we can close the gap or the gap’s going to be bigger, it’s too difficult to say,” Norris concluded, highlighting McLaren’s determination to continue their positive momentum.