Lando Norris doesn't highlight Red Bull as the main rival, but Ferrari

"I think we're not bad at all, and it's always tricky around here. I think it's a reasonable first day."

by Sead Dedovic
 Lando Norris doesn't highlight Red Bull as the main rival, but Ferrari
© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

The race in Monaco could be the beginning of something new, considering that some are not optimistic that Red Bull can achieve a positive result in this race, especially after Red Bull's poor performance. 

Predictions vary; On one hand, there are those who believe that this is a great opportunity for McLaren to make a breakthrough and achieve their second win of the season. On the other hand, some favor Ferrari, believing they have an ideal chance to change things in the upcoming races. 

Lando Norris, the young British driver, has impressed this season with his qualities and maturity. The Briton has made a big leap forward and also achieved his first career victory (Miami GP). The 24-year-old driver surprised many after practice with his statements, emphasizing that they look good, but he is not satisfied with the speed.

 "We look good out there, but not in the sense of speed!" -Lando Norris said, as quoted by MIRROR.

Norris's statements have sparked debates, especially when he highlighted Ferrari as the main rival in this race, but also mentioning Mercedes. Norris's statements raise dilemmas, as it's unclear whether the Briton was aiming to suggest that Ferrari would be their main competitor for winning the race or for second place. The 24-year-old also pointed out some challenges of this track, expecting a tough task. Despite all the obstacles, Norris believes McLaren can achieve a result.

"I think we're not bad at all, and it's always tricky around here. I think it's a reasonable first day. Definitely lacking a bit compared to Charles [Leclerc] and Ferrari. Maybe the Mercedes - the Mercedes does seem very quick as well.

So, I think everyone's tighter, just because it's a small and abnormal track, but we're up there. We have a little bit to find, and I think it's going to be a difficult day, but we're in the fight, so that's the main thing."- Lando Norris continued.

Lando Norris
Lando Norris© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

The McLaren driver confirmed that there are many things that pose challenges when it comes to this race, but he emphasizes that the main problem is slow-speed grip. McLaren will have to find a solution for such obstacles.

Norris explained that they're attempting to adjust the balance of the car to improve slow-speed grip. They're aiming for a balanced setup that can handle bumps smoothly, allowing the car to feel softer and perform better. However, there's a trade-off involved: focusing too much on this aspect can compromise overall performance. They experimented with a few adjustments during practice, hoping to gain a better understanding and make improvements accordingly.

McLaren's leaders are well aware of the opportunity ahead of them. Previous races have showcased the team's strength, but after one race, the focus is already on the next one and what can be changed. It's essential to correct and alter many aspects to compete with Red Bull on the grand stage. It seems they have largely succeeded in this, but confirmation will come in the upcoming races. McLaren is a team that aims to show its teeth to everyone, including Red Bull, who is expected to win the championship this season.

Having a driver like Lando Norris is certainly a great asset for success. However, it's not enough to have a driver if you don't have support in other areas. McLaren must provide him with a car that can compete with others, primarily Max Verstappen, who intends to dominate the competition this season.

Red Bull is in big trouble

While McLaren's leaders nurture optimism and are happy with the excellent performances since the beginning of the season, there's a sense of nervousness and fear in Red Bull, especially after the practice at the Monaco GP. Max Verstappen finished 11th and 4th in the two sessions in Monte Carlo. 

The Dutchman highlighted crucial issues, saying the car "bounces like a kangaroo" and mentioning that he feels headaches as a result of it all. 

The chaos within Red Bull is evident from the statements of Helmut Marko, who has a somewhat different stance. The Red Bull advisor believes that his team is not losing so much time. Furthermore, he admitted that the car bounces too much but emphasized that they have great results in the long runs.

The 81-year-old is ready to help Max resolve such an issue and believes that the Dutchman is losing confidence after the problems he has been facing lately.

"Max needs confidence. When the car jumps up and down like a kangaroo, you don't know where it is going to jump.

He has already hit the wall,  so there's work to do to minimise the bouncing, but he definitely has speed."

Lando Norris Red Bull Ferrari