F1: McLaren launch car for new season
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Lando Norris has admitted McLaren are still ‘a couple of years’ away from fighting for championship titles yet, after cementing his future with the team for a few more years.
McLaren announced on Thursday that Norris would be staying with the Woking-based team until at least the end of 2023 after signing a multi-year deal with the team.
Norris has had a successful season so far, with a podium to his name in Imola, securing his spot as a promising young talent coming through the field.
But when asked by Express Sport how close he thought the team were to fight with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the Briton replied: “This year we’re not close enough.
“We can get close-ish, like we did in Imola and places like that, but it’s obvious we’re still quite a way away from being confident in any way or saying, we’re going to win this weekend, or anything like that.
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“In Formula One you never know, sometimes I think if you wanna be confident in saying such a thing I think we’ve got to give it a couple of years.
“We’ll see next year where we stand with all the new rules and regulations, and everything is going to change around a little bit.”
Formula One’s delayed overhaul of the rules and regulations comes into play next season, with the idea to help make races closer and more exciting.
However, there will also be a cost cap of $175m introduced from 2021, meaning big teams such as Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari will have to cut their budget.
Norris thinks they’ll still be the ones to beat come next season.
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“I’m sure we’ll still see the best, or Mercedes and Red Bull, the team who have done well for so many years already at the front, and starting off strong,” explained Norris.
“But just because they’re able to shift their efforts and their focus much earlier than anyone else onto next season at an earlier stage, and start preparations much earlier, so that’s already a benefit to them.
“At the same time there’s so many differences that it could fall into anyone’s hands, you know?
“We’re doing our best to make sure we’re in a good position, and next year is the first year that everything can kind of change, but I’ve got no clue what’s going to happen next year so, we have to wait and see.
“But I don’t think this year really, unless we find something huge, that we’re going to be confident in saying we can go for race wins.
“So hopefully in the next two or three years.”
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