Lando Norris has admitted that McLaren has made a step forward and the gap to top-tier teams is reduced in 2021.
McLaren has started the 2021 F1 season in great form and in a status of a team that is capable to battle for podiums and even race wins. Lando Norris, who is with the team for the third season, has recognized the team’s progress and believes that they are closer to such teams as Mercedes and Red Bull Racing.
“We’re close. We’re not miles away from Mercedes and Red Bull comparing to last season. I think we’ve closed the gap quite a bit and hopefully at some tracks we can close even more. It’s good,” Norris says.
At the same time, the young Briton is not assured that the Woking-based team is clearly the third-best team on the grid. “It’s hard to say if we’re easily best of the rest. We don’t know what the pace of the AlphaTauri was like.”
Norris was also glad with how the Mercedes engine worked at the Bahrain GP as well as the MCL35M car: “I think the car’s good. It showed a lot of good points, some bad points and things we clearly need to work on, both from engine but also from the [power unit] side of things. And that’s not easy, but there’s some free lap time, let’s say, and things which make our lives as drivers much easier. Then we can do even better.”