Norris believes P7 finish in Turkey is the best McLaren could do


McLaren had a disappointing weekend at the Turkish GP. Daniel Ricciardo could only manage a P13, while Lando Norris didn’t do much better finishing P7

The whole race was a difficult one for the Woking outfit from start to finish. They just didn’t have the pace to compete with Mercedes, Red Bull and rivals Ferrari. It also didn’t help that the team bottled the strategy on a few occasions, especially for Ricciardo

Subsequently, Norris said that he was satisfied with his P7 finish, saying that was the best McLaren could do under those circumstances. It was a shame, but also a reminder that you are only as good as your last race.

McLaren went from the dizzying highs of the Italian GP to the reality checks of lows with the Russian and Turkish GP.

Norris: "Scary" spray made Turkish GP F1 much harder

McLaren’s previous positions in F1

McLaren is having an exceptional season in 2021. Although they are not yet on the level of Mercedes and Red Bull, they are the best of the rest along with longtime rivals Ferrari.

They have been consistent for the most part, and are giving it everything to take P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. With Ferrari also gunning for that spot, it has been a treat to watch. The position has swapped hands between the two teams throughout the season.

McLaren’s results before the Turkish GP this season are detailed out below. Taking a look at it, one can see how they have managed to reach the position where they are in at the time of writing.

1) Bahrain GP – Norris P4, Ricciardo P7

2) Emilia Romagna GP – Norris P3, Ricciardo P6

3) Portuguese GP – Norris P5, Ricciardo P9

4) Spanish GP – Norris P8, Ricciardo P6

5) Monaco GP – Norris P3, Ricciardo P12

6) Azerbaijan GP – Norris P5, Ricciardo P9

7) French GP – Norris P5, Ricciardo P6

8) Styrian GP – Norris P5, Ricciardo P13

9) Austrian GP – Norris P3, Ricciardo P7

10) British GP – Norris P4, Ricciardo P5

11) Hungarian GP – Norris DNF, Ricciardo P11

12) Belgian GP – Norris P14, Ricciardo P4

13) Dutch GP – Norris P10, Ricciardo P11

14) Italian GP – Norris P2, Ricciardo P1

15) Russian GP – Norris P7, Ricciardo P4

Norris happy with a podium – 'I made a lot of good decisions'

It is clear that the team initially relied on an overperformance from Norris while Ricciardo struggled. The Australian could not help his team as much as he wanted to, and Norris had to deliver the bulk of the points.

This meant that although Norris was doing better than both Ferrari drivers, it was a 2v1 against McLaren. The second half of the season saw a much-improved Ricciardo return, peaking with him taking a staggering win at Monza.

It was at the Belgian GP that we first saw this Ricciardo. At Spa, Norris was comfortably quicker than everyone else, including the Mercedes and Red Bull cars. He was on a flying lap during Q3, but suffered a horrible crash that red-flagged the session.

It was then up to Ricciardo to give McLaren any hope for the race. Given his form before the Belgian GP, most people had written him off for other drivers. However, the final moments of qualification saw Ricciardo step up to silence his critics and qualify fourth fastest overall.

It would prove to be decisive, as the race ended up being cancelled, meaning Ricciardo’s qualifying result was counted for points. He would deliver great results at the Italian and the Russian GP, the latter seeing him step up once again as Norris bottomed out of the points in a late collapse.

Norris and Ricciardo are starting to find their groove as a team. Ferrari has every reason to be worried, and should McLaren carry this rich vein of form into next season, everyone will be looking over their shoulders.

McLaren not surprised by Ferrari resurgence – and looking forward to battle  ahead

Why does Norris think that 7th position is best for McLaren?

Norris finished a difficult Turkish GP in seventh, and later explained P7 was the best they could do. He started the race in P7 and made no improvements to that position.

Throughout the weekend, he was not confident about his chances. After qualification, he had suggested that they just didn’t have the pace, and that Lewis Hamilton would probably breeze past him in no time.

When told that he was getting a bump up the grid due to Hamilton’s penalty, Norris responded as quoted by Planet F1, “But probably not for long anyway. Because he’ll (Hamilton) be past me in a couple of laps.

“Well, I’m just realistic. I’m not going to say I’m going to beat him, because I’m not. I’m just not a dreamer.

“(It was) a tough day. We were just not quick enough really. Not too many things to say, I think. I thought yesterday (during practice) maybe we had a bit more pace in the bag.

“The car was not easy, but we made some changes overnight which we thought would be good for the car and we had a little bit more to unlock, but it seems like the others had even more to unlock than we did.

“So not a lot (to say). I think P8 was the best job we could do today (during qualifying). It doesn’t sound very good or feel good, but I have to be happy with that,” he concluded.

Norris and McLaren will look to bounce back at the upcoming US GP. The battle between McLaren and Ferrari is set to go down to the wire, and every race result from here on out will matter. No driver can afford to have any slip-ups or patches of inconsistency at this point.

I know it's not easy"- Lando Norris finds it amusing to see Daniel Ricciardo  struggle with McLaren while Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso are booming  with their respective teams - The SportsRush

Read more: Norris thanks Hamilton for kind words after Russian GP – “Meant a lot coming from Lewis”

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