Norris: McLaren ‘not miles away’ from Mercedes and Purple Bull

McLaren completed third in final 12 months’s constructors’ championship and the Woking outfit is tipped to substantiate its standing as better of the remaining behind Purple Bull and Mercedes in 2021.

Whereas McLaren drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Norris certified sixth and seventh respectively in Bahrain, behind a Ferrari and an AlphaTauri, Norris labored his approach as much as fourth as the very best finisher not driving for one of many two prime groups.

When requested by Motorsport.com if the 2021 season opener confirmed that McLaren is on prime of the midfield battle, Norris stated it is “onerous to say” if the workforce is better of the remaining however was inspired by the truth that McLaren is nearer to Purple Bull and Mercedes than final 12 months.

“We’re shut, we’re not miles away from Mercedes and Purple Bull evaluating to final season,” Norris answered.

“I feel we have closed the hole fairly a bit and hopefully at some tracks shut it much more.

“It is onerous to say if we’re simply better of the remaining, I do not know what the tempo of the AlphaTauri was like, however I feel the automotive is nice.”

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Norris certified behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, however after a two-lap tussle within the opening levels he managed to go the Monegasque driver into Flip 1 after which comfortably drove away.

AlphaTauri’s race tempo is extra of an unknown because of fifth-starting Pierre Gasly hitting the again of Ricciardo on the opening lap, however his rookie teammate Yuki Tsunoda confirmed the Faenza workforce has potential on his drive from thirteenth to ninth.

Norris expects McLaren’s battle with Ferrari and AlphaTauri to “go backwards and forwards” all season however was assured McLaren’s race tempo can be superior to Ferrari’s in Bahrain.

“Yeah, I feel we sort of knew that from the runs in FP2 and the take a look at we did right here,” Norris defined. “I feel we have an understanding of what [Ferrari] can do.

“Even final 12 months Charles was forward of us in qualifying and the Ferrari may be very fast in qualifying. Throughout the races they appeared to battle.

“I feel we have been simply clearly faster on tempo, which was a very good factor, however there’s going to be some races most likely the place they will take care of the tyres higher and be a lot faster.

“It will go backwards and forwards between us and Ferrari and with AlphaTauri it appears fairly shut between us, so I am wanting ahead to the battle.”

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