McLaren driver Lando Norris has admitted that Contstructors’ title protagonists Red Bull and Mercedes still hold a slight advantage over the rest of the pack.
Following the first round of pre-season testing in Barcelona, F1 race engineers and drivers got a sneak peek of all the cars that will participate on this year’s grid. Despite new rules, new cars and some new drivers set to take the stage for the upcoming season, Lando Norris still feels that Mercedes and Red Bull are leading the way.
At the testing in Barcelona, Norris topped the first day of running and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc grabbed the headlines on the second day. But on the third and final day, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell put Mercedes on top of the time charts.
Mercedes and their drivers dominated the turbo-hybrid era of F1. With eight Contructors’ championships and seven drivers’ championships, the British manufacturer was a cut above the rest.
The only team to stop them from doing a clean sweep was Red Bull and Max Verstappen, with the Dutch driver winning the Drivers’ Championship last year.
Ferrari finished in third place while McLaren were close behind in fourth. But the initial two days of pre-season testing in Barcelona showed that Ferrari and McLaren may be in line to put up a fight for the title.
Nevertheless, Norris has downplayed McLaren’s pace and claimed that his team may still be lagging behind the two dominant forces from last year.
Lando Norris says McLaren still behind Mercedes and Red Bull
In a recent interview after the pre-season testing in Spain, Norris joked, “Mercedes never look like that good in testing – until they get to the first race. If they’re good in testing, it means they’re probably going to be incredible by the first race.”
He then explained how the teams who finished above McLaren last year still are a ‘bit further ahead’ than the Woking-based side. “We can see a picture, we can see we are in a decent position, but then Mercedes and Ferrari have looked very good since day one. They’ve been at the top of the timesheets every single time and their long-run pace looks good. Ferrari looks very strong, but Mercedes and Red Bull are right there with us and if anything, I would say a little bit ahead at the moment,” he explained.
Lando Norris and McLaren will now be hoping to have another positive test run at Bahrain before the Sakhir GP later this month.
More Formula One news:
- Lewis Hamilton doesn’t support IOC’s decision on Black Lives Matter gear during Olympics
- Max Verstappen left surprised as he reaches 100 race milestone with Red Bull
- Damon Hill also left in awe after Lewis Hamilton racks up 100 poles in F1 ahead of 2021 Spanish GP
Follow our dedicated Formula One page for instant Formula One news and updates