Lando Norris eyes championship as McLaren aims high after successful season

Discussing the team's progress from the previous year, Lando Norris mentions positive improvements

by Sead Dedovic
Lando Norris eyes championship as McLaren aims high after successful season
© Rudy Carezzevoli / Getty Images Sport

After extending his contract with McLaren, Lando Norris expressed satisfaction and emphasized that he is entering the new season with even greater ambitions than before. This great F1 driver is ready to do great things and surprise everyone! Many believe that McLaren has ambitions to fight for the championship, considering the level they have shown in previous seasons. It also seems that Norris believes that his team has the qualities to fight for the championship. 

They are aware that it will be a difficult task, especially in competition with Max Verstappen. Nevertheless, they have optimism and faith that they can make a big success.

“To go straight into winning races and a championship, I think that's another level, both for myself, in racing at the top – it's something I've not necessarily done for a while – but also for the whole team. For everyone at the factory, it's a different level of pressure and excitement."- Norris said, as quoted by

However, Red Bull is not the only team that poses a threat to them. It is expected that this season Mercedes and Ferrari will make a breakthrough and be in the fight for the very top. Norris does not want to be overly optimistic, given that he is aware of the danger from other teams as well. It is difficult to prejudge and understand whether McLaren can be in the fight for the championship. Predictions from previous seasons do not give optimism.

“It's something you have to ask yourself now and then. Do I think we're ready to challenge them? Then absolutely in those situations. There have been opportunities where we've been fighting against Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, going against them head to head in strategy and pitstops, all of those things."

Lando Norris is saying that generally, his team has been doing well in handling race strategies and pressure situations. However, when the idea of competing for a championship is brought up, everyone's mindset changes a bit. Despite this, Norris feels confident about going up against top drivers like Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. 

According to Norris, success in these situations comes down to being consistent and making good decisions during races. The challenge is that it's hard to predict the moves of competitors like Max and Lewis, and similarly, they struggle to predict the moves of Norris and his team.  The predictions of certain F1 experts for seasons back turned out to be wrong. For example, few could have expected that Verstappen would have such a dominant season behind him. Along with Verstappen, many other predictions were wrong and had no basis.

It emphasizes the mental and strategic aspects of Formula 1 racing, where making smart decisions is crucial, especially when competing against highly skilled opponents. 

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen
Lando Norris and Max Verstappen© Peter Fox / Getty Images Sport

Verstappen is a driver whose confidence is at its peak. Winning the F1 championship three years ago is a great achievement. When you have such momentum, then it is to be expected that the opponents feel fear of you. In addition, it is to be expected that you have the confidence to fight with anyone.

Norris doesn't want to make predictions this early.

“So a championship, I don't know. As much as I would love to say ‘Over the next two years', '26 is an opportunity for everyone on the grid.”

Lando Norris on his team's progress

Discussing the team's progress from the previous year, Lando Norris mentions positive improvements. He expresses confidence based on the lessons learned from experiences and a clear understanding of areas where further enhancements can be made.  Mistakes are a chance to learn a lot and enter the next season with a different mentality and more experience.

Norris talked bout instances in the past year when the team was very close to winning races. Despite competing against the highly skilled Red Bull, there were moments of competitiveness. Norris emphasizes that the team was not "miles away" from Red Bull in terms of performance. It was seen that McLaren can fight with Red Bull, although Verstappen was a dominant person, and it was difficult to compete against him.

Considering that Red Bull had one of the most competitive cars in Formula 1 last year, Norris reflects on the team's ability to be extremely close in a few races. This perspective contrasts with the perceived superiority of the Red Bull car.

Looking ahead, Norris expresses optimism about the team's current chances of winning races. He highlights that the team is as close as it has ever been during his time at McLaren and even compared to many previous years. Norris's positive outlook is further emphasized by his inclination to say "yes" when asked about the team's potential to win races in the current year.

This optimism pleases the leaders of this team. This is one of the reasons why they gave him the chance to remain part of the team and extend his contract. They have enormous confidence in him. Norris wants to thank them for the victories. What better way to say thanks than that?

Lando Norris