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Lando Norris Optimistic About McLaren’s Chances at Imola, Aims for Consistent Challenge Against Ferrari and Red Bull

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Lando Norris signals caution to Red Bull, predicting McLaren's enhanced compatibility with Imola

Lando Norris expresses optimism about McLaren's prospects at Imola, aiming for consecutive victories.

Lando Norris is of the opinion that McLaren might perform even better at Imola this coming weekend compared to their performance in Miami.

Norris secured his first-ever Formula 1 win in the recent Miami race, finally achieving his dream of being the foremost on the victory podium.

Benefiting from the advantageous timing of the Safety Car, Norris seized the lead and effortlessly extended his gap over Max Verstappen.

Anticipating the upcoming weekend's race at Imola, Norris believes McLaren will have a more favorable performance at this track.

"He believes that their performance improvement could partly be attributed to being more compatible with Imola, possibly due to recent upgrades as well. He noted that Imola has consistently been a strong track for both the team and him personally as a driver. Therefore, he feels confident in saying that they have indeed made progress."

"Based on my understanding, other squads are also implementing enhancements, so it's important we manage our expectations. I've instilled a sense of optimism in our team, assuring them that we're poised for progress. However, I've also emphasized that achieving top performance every weekend might not be realistic."

Looking back on his win, Norris acknowledged that fortune played a part and emphasized that McLaren must enhance their performance to consistently compete with Ferrari and Red Bull.

"Fortune was on my side last weekend with the timing of the safety car, and our strategy played out flawlessly, but that's the nature of racing," he continued. "My lead wasn't solely due to my speed at the moment, but I was the fastest on the track, and that was an initial positive indicator that then evolved into something greater.

"However, to more frequently compete with Ferrari and Red Bull, we require additional improvements. The team is performing excellently, having made significant progress, and we are optimistic about the new developments we anticipate in the future."

McLaren maintains third position

Presently, McLaren holds a secure third place in the Formula 1 constructors' standings with 124 points, leading Mercedes by 60 points.

Despite having faster lap times than Ferrari in the recent two races, he firmly believes they still have a significant gap to close.

"Currently, I believe we're lagging significantly," he detailed. "Considering it was merely a single weekend and then coming here. In Miami, our performance exceeded our expectations, which pleasantly surprised us. The situation was somewhat similar in China."

"However, the difference isn't as vast as a mile; it's more about a slight margin of one or two tenths of a lap that determines whether we're leading and qualifying, maintaining our lead during the race, or trailing behind without the necessary speed."

"Currently, I believe we lack a consistent strategy from the start to the finish of each weekend's events. It appears we have more ground to cover. In my view, we haven't reached the level of Ferrari or Red Bull yet."

"We're making progress, so I believe a few additional steps similar to what we did in Miami are necessary. After that, yes, we can begin to discuss that topic more seriously."

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