Last season, Daniel Ricciardo won and led a McLaren one-two at Monza, escorted by Norris , largely thanks to the accident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton which put each other out of the race.
However, when asked by Motorsport.com if there was any chance of repeating that kind of feat, Lando Norris said no, explaining that it might be the other way around.
“Sadly, not much,” he said. “I want to have some faith and believe a little bit, but I think it’s going to be a very difficult weekend for us.”
“I think now we are at a point where we really understand the strengths and weaknesses of the car. I think we now know which tracks we are going to be stronger or weaker at.”
“Now we have to start working on solving these problems. And of course it’s going to take some time, but we know what it’s about. That’s our next job. We know it’s going to take time, but we’ll keep pushing from now on.” “.
After the Belgian GP, Norris said the MCL36 had good straightline speed, but questioned the efficiency of their DRS, hinting that they didn’t gain as much time as their current rivals when they opened it up, although he now seems to have changed his view.
“No, that’s not true,” he said of his earlier comments. “I didn’t have the necessary information. I think we were running with one of the smaller rear wings at Spa. So when you have such a small rear wing and you open the DRS, it doesn’t have much of an effect.
“When I was comparing myself to Max, they had a much bigger rear wing, so when they opened the DRS, they gained a lot more speed than us. But even with the bigger rear wing, they are as fast or faster than us.”
“So that makes it more difficult. But it’s not only that (at Monza), but also how the car behaves in the low speed and high speed corners. We suffered a lot from tire degradation in Spa.”
“I think we can take some small steps forward, we learned a lot in Spa that maybe we can transfer to Monza. But yes, it is not something that is going to change everything and put us several positions ahead,” he added.
Norris finished seventh at Zandvoort last weekend, admitting some frustration after losing a position to Fernando Alonso due to the ongoing battle between McLaren and Alpine for fourth place in the constructors’ standings.
“It hurts but at the same time I’m happy with today. I don’t think I can complain too much, I think we’ve done a good job and they just had a bit more luck. That’s part of the sport.”
“So there’s not much to complain about. But I think there are positives comparing my pace against his. On Friday, his race pace was unbelievably strong. Even his qualifying pace was very good, (but) for some reason , they did not improve in Q2”.
“Fernando said he had traffic. I think we tried to take advantage of his elimination in Q2, but when you are behind, even 10 seconds, if a safety car comes out and everything regroups, it goes back to how it was before.
“He passed the others, we were much faster than Haas and AlphaTauri and those around us, so they quickly got out of the way, and then it was just him against us. So yeah, it hurts a little bit to have finished behind. But I have to be happy with the job I’ve done,” concluded the Woking driver.