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Norris claims multiple podiums "too much" for McLaren this year

Norris claims multiple podiums "too much" for McLaren this year

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Norris claims multiple podiums "too much" for McLaren this year

Norris claims multiple podiums "too much" for McLaren this year
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Lando Norris has played down McLaren's chances of consistently competing for podiums this season despite major improvements last year that led to a third-place finish in the constructors' championship.

The Woking-based team is aiming to build upon last season's results with the introduction of Mercedes power units along with the acquisition of Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris, who is entering his third season in Formula 1, has warned against the team getting ahead of itself despite the positivity instilled by its best result for eight years last term, which included the Briton scoring his maiden podium in Austria.

"Oh, that's too much," replied Norris, when asked if regular podiums are achievable this year. "Last year, more than ever for some reason, teams were able to excel at certain stages of the season and at certain tracks.

"It proves how much different car philosophies work in different types of races and conditions.

"We had a very good car at the beginning of the season, but on the whole, Racing Point [now Aston Martin] had the third-best car and the second-best car in a lot of races and under-delivered.

"The Mercedes engine and back-end is a good step forward but it's not going to sort everything out. We are not going to be able to just get podiums in every race.

"The car itself, and everything we have to do as a team and as McLaren, still have to be improved, from the pit stops to how we design things and the whole philosophy of the car, there needs to be a constant improvement."

Last year McLaren was embroiled in one of the most competitive midfield battles in modern times alongside Racing Point, Renault, Ferrari, and even AlphaTauri on occasion.

Despite acknowledging the team had made vast improvements during his time in F1, Norris claimed he could not be confident of beating any one of the midfield rivals in any given race.

"We have made improvements over the last two years but not enough to be competing consistently as much as we want," he added.

"We were still slower than Renault [now Alpine] in some races, still slower than AlphaTauri in some races.

"We just want to make a step where we can say we're very confident every weekend, that we can say we're going to be the fourth-best team, or maybe the third-best team, not having a car where we are fifth-or-sixth-best one weekend, third-best the next.

"I think where Mercedes is very good, or where Red Bull is very good, is they can just deliver every single weekend with the same performance.

"That is what we need to try and achieve because that's what gets you points and constructors' championships at the end of the day, not just one race where you look like heroes.

"It is a step forward, Mercedes and bringing in Daniel, but there is also a lot of improvements we need to make as a team."

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