F1: McLaren launch car for new season
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Lando Norris says, given the right machinery, he could be up fighting with the best of them this season, as he warned Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen one day he could be giving them “a run for their money”.
Norris has impressed so far this season in the McLaren, claiming his second F1 podium of his career in Imola and consistently scoring points in every race.
He is currently sitting fourth in the standings heading into the fifth round in Monaco, just six points behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Arguably it’s the best chance McLaren have given him yet to have a fighting chance of podiums and points finishing positions, alongside his new team-mate this season Daniel Ricciardo.
And when asked by GPFans if Norris now thinks he’s in the position to fight for a title, he replied: “I want to say yes but it doesn’t mean I’m just better than every driver on the grid or anything like that, I’m not saying that.”
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“I just feel like with how I have done this season I am driving at a level that is capable of winning races and maybe one day a world championship,” continued Norris.
“Maybe I’m not at the all-out level, but I feel I am doing a lot of things right and with some small improvements I can be a bit more confident in my answer.
“I’m at a level where I would say I could go up against Lewis or Max and – I’ve got to be careful how I say it, not say I could 100 per cent beat them – but I could give them a run for their money and I could give it a good effort.
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Norris remains one of his own biggest critics despite only his third season in F1 and having received praise from the likes of Hamilton and 2009 world champion Jenson Button.
He was left bitterly disappointed when his best qualifying lap was deleted due to exceeding track limits ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with the likes of Hamilton swooping in to lend some advice.
“I haven’t always been the most complimentary guy to myself, giving myself the respect I feel I should get sometimes,” he added.
“I always put myself down a lot and am harsh on myself but I think that sometimes I feel I should be the opposite and give myself confidence.
“With how I feel I have done so far this season, I feel if I was in a car capable of winning races, I feel like I could.
“Whether it’s in the wet conditions, the dry conditions, I feel I am driving at the moment in a very good manner. I feel I am on top of my game, doing a lot of things right and doing myself proud in a lot of ways.”
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