Formula One: Norris backs McLaren to mount 2025 F1 title bid after Miami win

AFP , Thursday 9 May 2024

Lando Norris is "100 percent" confident that McLaren can mount a challenge for the Formula One title next season as he celebrated his maiden Grand Prix win at the team's British headquarters on Thursday.

Lando Norris
Race winner Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren speaks to the media after the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 05, 2024 in Miami, Florida. AFP

 

Norris, 24, topped the podium at the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday, making the most of a safety-car period before pulling away from Red Bull's Max Verstappen to secure a first victory in his 110th Grand Prix.

It was McLaren's first win in nearly three years and was a sign of the resurgence of the British team, a major force in Formula One during the 1980s and 90s.

Norris is now fourth in the drivers' standings, 53 points behind three-time world champion Verstappen while third-placed McLaren are a huge 115 points adrift of Red Bull in the constructors' table.

Asked if McLaren can mount a title challenge next season, Britain's Norris told Sky Sports F1: "100 percent. I am saying that still with my feet on the ground. I want to believe that we have two great drivers (Oscar Piastri is the other driver). We have an amazing team behind us and we are closer than ever.

"As much as I said at the beginning of this year we can win races, I should have the confidence to say next year we can go for the next step."

Norris was back at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, near London, on Thursday to celebrate his success with the wider team.

He accepted there remained a gap McLaren had to close to compete consistently with Red Bull and Ferrari.

"On average we are not quite where we want to be," said Norris. "We still have our feet on the ground, we know we have more work to do.

"As soon as they've all had a little drink this morning I'm going to tell them to get back to work so we can keep fighting even more.

"If there is any race I want to have the same speed it is at Silverstone (for the British Grand Prix). We can win races this year, we can compete against Red Bull and we are looking at an exciting season between us, Red Bull and Ferrari."

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