Why Norris thinks McLaren, Ferrari can challenge Red Bull for 2024 title

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Why Norris thinks McLaren, Ferrari can challenge Red Bull for 2024 title

Lando Norris believes McLaren having two cars regularly at the front of the grid can help them take the fight to Red Bull in the remaining part of the 2024 F1 season.

Norris has been Max Verstappen’s closest challenger at the last three races, finishing second in China, then winning his first F1 race in Miami and came within eight tenths of victory last time out in Imola.

McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri is yet to finish on the podium this year but also showed strong pace in Miami and Imola, suffering from misfortune at both events.

Norris is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, 60 points behind Verstappen and McLaren are third in the Constructors’ Standings, 114 points adrift of Red Bull ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix – live on Sky Sports F1.

The British driver named Ferrari as another team with two competitive drivers at the front but not Red Bull.

“If things turn around, we can easily start coming back towards the teams, especially because we are the team, along with Ferrari, where we have two cars performing up there in every single session,” said Norris.

“If you look at a lot of the grid, they don’t really have that. They have one guy who puts in a mega lap, then has a good race, then another one not so much. One of our strengths is we have two cars up there and we can fight well, along with Ferrari. If we keep doing that, we can stay in it.”

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Zak Brown and Oscar Piastri both believe McLaren will able to take the fight to Red Bull following a good showing at the Emilia Romagna GP.

Verstappen also thinks the title race can “turn around quite quickly” if McLaren and Norris start winning consistently, admitting the field has closed up.

Norris, who finished on the podium at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, isn’t ruling out a title fight this year.

“I’m 60 points behind Max. It’s a long way to go. I’m definitely not thinking about it [the championship]. You concentrate on getting a good result and things just play out for themselves,” he continued.

“We definitely put ourselves in there, so that hurt us but we are only a third of the way through. There are plenty of opportunities for us and we have some things coming in the future.

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Highlights from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola.

Norris not changing approach

Since the middle of last year, McLaren have enjoyed an upturn in form since the middle of last year, with Piastri and Norris scoring nine podiums from the 2023 British Grand Prix onwards.

After a slightly disappointing start to this year, McLaren brought an upgrade to the Miami Grand Prix which appears to have put them on par with Red Bull.

Norris, who is in his sixth F1 campaign, says his mindset is no different even though he’s fighting at the front.

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris put aside their racing rivalry to team up in a game of Padel!

“For me, I go out and do the same thing. Qualifying is the same. Whether you are in the 10th best car or whatever, you always have that hope and drive as quickly as you can. Whether it’s for first, 10th or 20th, it’s the same approach that I have,” he explained.

“It puts a little more pressure on everyone because that one small mistake can be a bit more costly. I’m still relaxed, still excited to have another crack at it and see what we can deliver.

“Mentally the approach doesn’t change. It’s probably more exciting. I look forward to it more because I have a better chance of being on the podium or winning a race, so it makes me more excited and a bit more hungry.

“The approach of just driving doesn’t change for me or the people I work with. Normal is very good.”

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McLaren have revealed an Ayrton Senna inspired livery for the Monaco GP, as they look to build on a positive few weeks for Lando Norris.

Norris: Everything to play for in Monaco

McLaren’s biggest weakness in 2024 has been the slow-speed corners but they are still hopeful to do well in Monaco because they can set the car up purely for the tight turns.

Norris thinks they mainly struggle in slower corners on tracks which also feature medium and high-speed corners, so should still be competitive this weekend.

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Lando Norris spoke glowingly about Ayrton Senna, with McLaren set to use a one-off Livery dedicated towards their former Brazilian driver at the Monaco Grand Prix.

“Monaco’s one of the ones you want to win. I’m hopeful we can have a good result and over the last few weeks we have been a lot more competitive in terms of fighting with Ferrari and Red Bull,” said the the 24-year-old.

“Because it’s so different, it can go one way or the other. Everything is to play for and because it’s such a small track, other teams could be up there as well, like Mercedes or Aston Martin. Especially in Qualifying, you make one or two tenths mistake and that’s a big loss, which can mess up your whole weekend.

“It’s close, so we just focus on doing our job because we have been doing a good job so far.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Monaco GP and Indy 500 schedule

Friday May 24
10am: F3 Qualifying
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts at 12.30pm)*
2pm: F2 Qualifying*
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (session starts at 4pm)*
5.30pm: The F1 Show
6.30pm: Indy 500 Final Practice
8.30pm: Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

The Monaco GP takes places this Sunday at 2pm - live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event

Saturday May 25
9.40am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: Monaco GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)*
1.10pm: F2 Sprint*
2.15pm: Monaco GP Qualifying build-up*
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifying*
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Sunday May 26
6.55am: F3 Feature Race
8.35am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Monaco GP build-up*
4pm: Chequered Flag: Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
5.30pm: The Indy 500

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

It’s time for the most-famous F1 race of them all – the Monaco Grand Prix. Watch every session from the famous street circuit from Friday live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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