Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo at 2022 McLaren launch
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Lando Norris has “put some great results in” for McLaren, according to former Williams world champion Nigel Mansell. Mansell claimed he “liked” Norris and praised him for picking up good points when his car was performing well.
However, he appeared to slam McLaren’s lack of consistency in a mixed year for the British squad. The 1992 champion said the team were too uncertain with results changing from one weekend to the next.
Speaking to Adrian Flux, Mansell said: “I think Lando when the car is performing, he’s put some great results in. I think what we are seeing is jockeying for position with the constrictors and how competitive from one race to another they are.
“One minute you think, for instance, McLaren are up there again, they are going really well. And then the next race they are back down here. At the front, you’ve got the three again, You’ve got Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes. And you might have one other occasionally jockeying for trying to get on the podium.”
Norris has picked up points in almost every race he has finished this season with 15th placed finishes in Bahrain and Canada his only blots. He has also consistently beat team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who has picked up just four points-scoring finishes to Norris’ 10.
However, the results have still been uninspiring for McLaren with Norris picking up just one podium this season. This came at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc spun in the closing stages.
By this stage last season, Norris had scored three podiums and only finished outside the top five once. Norris admits McLaren has “under-delivered” on the 2022 car which means the team have been playing catch-up to close the gap to the leaders this season.
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However, Norris claims he still believes he can win races at the team within the next two or three years. Speaking to Race Fans, he explained: “I didn’t sign up to be with McLaren for this year like ‘this year I’m going to be winning races’ – that was far from my belief.
“I still knew it would take a good few years – 2024-25 will be the first time when there should be less and less excuses in a way to go ‘why aren’t we in a position we should be in?’ I think still for a couple of years, things are still in progress. The wind tunnel and the simulator – all these little things the top teams have optimised for many years and we’re just a long way behind with all of this stuff.
“To be one of the winning teams, every single area needs to be operating in the perfect window, at a very professional level. Over the last few years, there was too many things for us which weren’t at that level that we needed to be at.”
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