With Lando Norris about to start his third Formula 1 season with McLaren, will this be his best year yet?
McLaren driver Lando Norris is no rookie. Having completed two seasons with the Woking-based team and about to enter into his third. And, he will no longer will he be the youngest on the grid. With the addition of several new driver’s to the line-up for the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Having gone from strength to strength during the past two years, Norris is looking to keep that momentum going. As he continues to push McLaren into the future. With the ultimate goal of accomplishing a greater number of podium finishes for the team.
With all that in mind, 2021 might just be the year for Norris to achieve his best result to date. Not only in terms of podiums, but also driver rankings.
A big thing that may help Norris in garnering these results, is the ability to setup the car just to his liking. Something he feels confident in doing, as he spoke to Sky F1.
“I feel a little bit more prepared than I ever have done,” Norris said. “I think I know a lot more of what I want and what makes me comfortable, what I need to do to put the car in the right condition, make it exactly how I want to drive it.
“I know what I want from the team, from the engineers, from the car and it’s as simple as that. You just have a better idea of how to extract every bit of potential out of yourself and the people and the car around you.
“So I think it’s that and I’m a bit more confident going into this year. Just with the two years of experience now under my belt. So I’m feeling good, I’m feeling confident. I’m just excited to get going again and get ahead to Bahrain. It’s been a track where I and we have done relatively good in the past few years so I’m hoping we can continue that and we can have a good start to the year which will set things off nicely.”
There’s no midfield pack anymore
Building on what was a successful car for 2020, this year’s contender, the MCL35M, has shown in testing that it has the speed and hopefully reliability to ensure McLaren are a serious contender for the season ahead.
McLaren will need that speed and reliability in order to hold off their competitors as they look to retain third place in the constructors’ standings. In what is seen as the closest competition between teams in recent years.
“Mercedes, Red Bull and I think just this whole little pack behind, we’re not a midfield pack anymore,” Norris said. “There’s a lot of teams involved. Williams have caught up as well. Alfa Romeo seemed pretty good in the pre-season test and then you just got us, Renault, Alpha Tauri, Ferrari I’m sure are going to be back in it too. And they look pretty strong so we’ll see.
“I’m hoping there’s going to be some races along the way that we can really bring it to the front two teams at the moment, Mercedes and Red Bull. But you know they are that little bit ahead and we are working as hard as we can to close that gap because we want to be on the podium. And it’s going to be our best chance to be on the podium in a very long time.”