Lando Norris on quitting McLaren amid Red Bull interest

McLaren's recent improvements have seen Lando Norris secure back-to-back podiums, adding to the Brit's success in Formula 1.

In the face of challenging times and a tough start to the season, Lando Norris has expressed his relief and contentment with McLaren’s recent podium-scoring gains. 

As the team struggled to meet their targets with the MCL60, Norris never wavered in his belief that McLaren was where he wanted to be. 

Now, with the introduction of a “kind of a B-spec” car at the Austrian Grand Prix, McLaren’s fortunes turned around dramatically, leading to a double podium finish for the team at both Silverstone and Hungary.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Norris reflected on the team’s progress and the emotions he experienced during the challenging times. 

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“I guess relief, but at no point did I think… there are frustrating times and just difficult times, but at no point did I think ‘this is not where I want to be,'” Norris remarked. 

He further praised the team’s efforts and the significant strides they made with the car’s upgrades, even exceeding their own expectations.

While the recent gains have put McLaren in a promising position with 70 points scored in just three races, Norris emphasised that the entire team feels relieved by the turnaround. 

He acknowledged that the team faced some difficulties and delays during the winter, but their patience and hard work paid off. 

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The British driver expressed his unwavering faith in McLaren’s ability to achieve their goals and his personal ambition to win races and championships with the team.

Responding to suggestions by rivals that McLaren’s upgrades were worth as much as one second per lap, Norris downplayed the claim. 

He attributed the team’s success to their own improvements rather than others’ decline. 

Norris highlighted that McLaren’s performance had improved significantly at tracks where they had already done well in the past, indicating that the upgrades were indeed beneficial but not to the extent of a full second per lap.

Looking ahead, Norris remained optimistic about McLaren’s future performance. 

He credited the team’s relentless pursuit of progress and believed they could continue to challenge competitors like Aston Martin, Ferrari, and even the dominant Red Bull Racing. 

With more upgrades in the pipeline, Norris and McLaren are eager to maintain their upward trajectory and prove their competitiveness in the highly competitive Formula 1 season.

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With Ferrari back on form in Belgium, as Leclerc has a shot at taking the time to victory when he starts in P1 on Sunday, Norris will have to overcome another team to bring success to his team.

With Max Verstappen dropped down to P6 due to a grid penalty, Norris will start directly behind the Dutchman, while Oscar Piastri begins Sunday’s race in P5.

Ahead of the McLarens will be Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Leclerc, as well as Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.