Lando Norris doesn’t expect anything extraordinary from McLaren this weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as competitors praise the British squad for their straight-line speed.
Norris finished the Monaco Grand Prix on the podium, just behind his former teammate Carlos Sainz and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who took the victory. Both drivers had praised the Mercedes-powered MCL35M as a strong machine, calling it a “rocket.” However, Norris doubts the team performance will be extraordinary in Baku.
“I think we can be confident and optimistic [that] we can go well,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to be anything extraordinary or unexpected.
“We have a good car and we’ve shown that over the first five races of the season that we have a decent car in most of the tracks. But I don’t think we can be confident saying we’re going to be quicker than Mercedes or Red Bull.
“We’ll do our best to keep our heads down and try and get another result like last time.”
Despite Norris’ comments, his teammate Daniel Ricciardo said the team’s straight-line performance gives him added confidence for the race at Baku.
“This circuit is a fun one,” he said.
“Monaco is Monaco but I think Baku is just as tricky and it’s very different. We run less downforce because of the straight so in a way, the cornering is maybe even more difficult here. But you do have a bit more time and space to think about the next corner and gather your thoughts and have a breather. So it’s kind of a different tempo, but still the same intensity.
“I think we’ll be alright,” Ricciardo said coming out of the Monaco Grand Prix, hoping for a better run in Azerbaijan. “Obviously I’m just looking forward to getting back out.
“When a weekend doesn’t go well, you can’t wait to get back in the car and to try and obviously do better so I’m just looking forward to going racing again.”