Lando Norris has warned Red Bull to keep an eye over their shoulder next season, as McLaren have “plenty more things to come” in their car for 2024.
Simply stating McLaren and Red Bull in the same sentence is remarkable given where the Woking-based team were at the start of 2023.
McLaren were a backmarker for the first half of the season and struggled to simply get out of Q1, whereas now they’re fighting for front row starts and regular podiums.
The British side’s comeback is without a doubt one of the stories of the 2023 Formula 1 season, although the cherry on top would be if Norris can claim a maiden victory in either Las Vegas or Abu Dhabi.
A win is really the only thing McLaren are missing from this year, as both Oscar Piastri and Norris have stepped foot on the rostrum.
Norris has been on the podium seven times just in the second half of the campaign alone, with McLaren’s huge upgrades package at the Austrian Grand Prix having been the big turning point.
The British driver noted at the recent Brazilian Grand Prix that he’s been the “second highest scoring driver” since the Austrian GP, with him admitting that it’s unbelievable that McLaren can even talk about fighting Red Bull.
“I’ve just been just saying to Max [Verstappen], since we bought this upgrade to Austria, I’ve been the second highest scoring driver on the grid,” Norris said in Brazil, as reported by PlanetF1.com.
“I think we’ve been the second highest scoring team, potentially.
“Of course, we’ve taken some massive steps forward and at the same time, considering we’re talking about fighting the Red Bull, I think it’s still a very, very good thing what we’ve achieved this year.”
With the exception of Carlos Sainz’s win at the Singapore Grand Prix, McLaren have been the only team capable of getting close to Red Bull since Austria.
They are viewed by many as the team most likely to fight them in the Constructors’ Championship next season, although to do that Norris will need to be beating three-time World Champion Max Verstappen.
Norris isn’t prepared to talk about McLaren’s 2024 chances just yet; however, he has revealed that the outfit have a lot to introduce next season.
“We’re talking about one of the best drivers in Formula 1 ever, in one of the most dominating cars,” Norris added.
“And for us to go from where we were in Bahrain to getting close and talking about fighting a Red Bull, I think are very good signs for us. We know we still have plenty more things to come next year, so I’m excited.
“There’s no point thinking of it until next year but I’ll be optimistic and I believe we can do it as a team.”