McLaren driver Lando Norris doesn’t know who he will battling this Formula 1 season. But is hopeful it will be towards the front of the grid.
Lando Norris has had his first chance to jump into the new McLaren MCL35M. During a wet filming day at the Silverstone circuit, both Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo put their 2021 Formula 1 entry through its early paces.
And, while time spent out on track was limited, Norris enjoyed the feeling of being back behind the wheel.
🗣"I don't really mind who I battle, as long as it's towards the front"
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) February 17, 2021
“First of all, it was nice to be back in a race car,” Norris said to Sky Sports F1’s Craig Slater. “Back in a Formula 1 car more than anything and a McLaren. But it’s nice to sit in a bit of machinery that everyone has been working very hard to put together. So big hats off and big thanks to everyone in the team.
“It was nice. You know wet difficult conditions to kind of get an initial feeling. But still just lovely to be back in a race car, pushing it to the limit. A few little oversteers and understeers here and there and that’s what I like.”
Norris sets his sights on a front field battle
McLaren enjoyed a successful 2020 F1 campaign. Finishing ahead of their midfield rivals and securing third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
The team will look to replicate last year’s achievement. Bringing added reliability and performance through their much talked about Mercedes power unit.
Norris also saw noticeable improvement between year one and two of his F1 career. Not only stepping up the defensive and offensive aspects of his driving, but battling side-by-side with top drivers along the way. This ultimately led to him taking his first F1 podium in 2020.
Norris indicated his desire to continue battling towards the front of the grid for the upcoming season.
“I don’t really mind who I battle, as long as it’s towards the front of the field, I’ll be happy.” Norris continued. “But it’s too early to really know what we’re going to be doing and who we’re going to be racing. But I think if it’s anything to go by from last year, it’s going to be a bit of everyone.
“Even if you’re the fastest car, there’s races where you’re racing everyone on the grid. Or you’re having to come through and you have one poor qualifying and it can cost you getting in Q3 or several positions. So it’s going to be close. I’m sure everyone is working as hard as possible. Every team to try and make those small improvements.”