McLaren F1 has been more competitive this weekend and, furthermore, thanks to a series of grid penalties, both of its drivers will start from the second row this Sunday, with Norris taking third just ahead of Ricciardo .
This scenario is reminiscent of what happened last year, when both got an unexpected double led by the Australian driver.
However, McLaren ‘s gap to the top teams appears to be much greater than last year, which is why Norris doesn’t think they can hold their own against Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s Red Bull Racing or Carlos Sainz Jr’s Ferrari. , coming out from behind.
Speaking about it, the British driver from Woking acknowledged that fighting for seventh and eighth place would be the most realistic goal for this Sunday.
“I think it’s not going to be too easy to overtake, but I also expect Max and Carlos to overtake everyone quickly,” Norris said.
“[George Russell’s] Mercedes will probably pass us pretty quickly too, so as much as I hate to say it, I honestly think seventh or eighth is a realistic target for tomorrow – it would be a good result.”
“It’s quite simple, there are six cars much faster than us, so we’re going for it.”
Lewis Hamilton, who will start behind Sainz in 19th position, fears that the cars will not be able to get out of the dreaded DRS train and joked that he would like to take his iPad to the car so he can watch the famous Game of Thrones series if he finally stays. stuck in traffic.
When asked by Motorsport.com about Hamilton’s comments, Ricciardo said that the nature of the comments would make it easier to find a gap to overtake.
“Look, I don’t want to go into the race being negative about it,” the McLaren man replied.
“Last year it was difficult to overtake, but I don’t think this year is going to be any more difficult than last year, so I guess there will be a bit more of a battle in the race.”
“I think the faster cars will be able to overtake and the DRS trains could complicate everything, yes, but don’t get me wrong, I think there will be opportunities.”
“That kind of race may be good for us, but I don’t think it will be that difficult. I would be surprised if we could hold on to the top positions like last year.”
In the last race in which top speed was key, the Belgian Grand Prix just fifteen days ago, the McLarens had an agonizing afternoon, falling far behind their rivals.
But team principal Andreas Seidl reckons that while limitations related to the low downforce of McLaren’s car remain, the team has found solutions at Monza that should give it a better chance of fighting.
“I would say that we are aware of the challenge that this race represents for us.”
“We’ve seen this year that on low-downforce tracks, when temperatures are high, we’ve struggled to keep pace compared to Alpine for example.
“At the same time, we have made some changes to the car this weekend that are paying off. The team did a great job to improve the car.”
“We will probably be in a good position to fight with all the cars around us and score good points,” he concluded.