Lando Norris, McLaren, Interlagos, 2019

McLaren still have a long way to go – Norris

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In the round-up: Lando Norris says McLaren still have a long way to go to catch up to their front-running rivals in 2020.

What they say

[icon2019autocoursempu]McLaren rose to fourth place in the constructors championship this year:

I think I can be very happy from how the whole season has gone. For myself, from the team. I think starting with myself there’s been a lot of good things.

Coming into the season, I wasn’t very confident with how I was going to do. So I’m happy I kind of proved myself wrong and I have done a good job and been able to give myself more confidence and improved as a driver. I’m very happy about that. I got some good results, [there’s] still a lot of things I need to improve on, but on the whole, I’m very happy.

With the team, I think it speaks for itself where we were last year, where we ended up in the constructors, where we were on average in qualifying and in the races. The contrast to this year has been pretty huge. So I think that says enough.

A lot of very good things but there’s still a lot of things which have not been so good and things we or the team still needs to improve on. I think we can be happy but there’s still a long way to go to be able to race with Red Bull, Ferraris, Mercedes. So we can be happy but not overly happy and [getting] ahead of ourselves going into next year.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Has Charles Leclerc committed to Ferrari for too long?

While he (fans and F1) would hope it works out… what if Ferrari produces multiple duds in 2021 and beyond?

I would say signing five-year contract now is a very strange decision, there was no reason for it.

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On this day in F1

Thanks everyone for reading the RaceFans round-up throughout 2019. As you can see we’re taking a quick break – the round-up will be back in three days’ time.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “McLaren still have a long way to go – Norris”

  1. It’s a fair point with regards the COTD, but surely that contract will have many, many clauses in it in case Ferrari take a misstep in 2021.

  2. What if the 2021 Ferrari is a weapon… Leclerc has stamped himself as their long term number 1. At the end of 5 years Leclerc will be at or nearing his peak, and can move to a better seat if necessary. Until then he’s secure in the knowledge that he has an extremely well funded team to drive for where he can continue to develop his race craft without the distractions of contracts… A 22 year old with all the perks of being a Ferrari F1 driver, I’d probably sign on the dotted line too, for considerably longer than 5 years .

    1. The thing is, Leclerc already had at least three years left on his contract – when he signed for the team, his contract was stated to be until “at least 2022”. There didn’t seem to be any real rush for him to sign a new contract, as Ferrari already had him locked in for a number of years.

      1. This new contract has probably a much higher salary than last one, and much strict clauses. Ferrari now knows that Leclerc proved to be a very valuable asset, and with the new contract they wanted to be sure no other team would be trying to buy him out from Ferrari. That’s probably the reason for a new one even if the last one was still valid. Win win for Ferrari and Leclerc.

      2. I have never heard of a contract extension without improved terms. I think we are looking at this the wrong way. He has been given more for doing no more than his previous contract required. I’d do the same and sign on the dotted line. Whether Ferrari product a dud or a rocket ship would be of little concern to him. There will be performance clauses on both sides to his contract anyway. So good car or bad car he is secure in that seat for the next 5 years. Good for him.

  3. To all the team at RaceFans and all who contribute their thoughts have a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season.

    Here’s hoping 2020 is an amazing F1 year.

  4. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to the RaceFans team: Keith, Dieter, Hazel and the newly-accredited journo Josh, and to your loved ones as well.

    To my fellow fanatics, Merry Christmas (or happy holidays) and a happy new year to all.

    As the trackside signage cautions us: If you drink, don’t drive.

    (Heck, don’t even putt!)

      1. Here too.

    1. Ctrl-C, Ctrl-P

  5. Cristiano Ferreira
    24th December 2019, 7:16

    Leclerc did well signing a 5 year (was it a five year contract?) with Ferrari. The team is well funded and i dont think the competition will change that much with the new regulations.

    Mercedes is locked out and Red Bull too, so his only alternative was Ferrari even if they fail its a safer bet than the one Ricciardo commited to.

    I doubt Vettel will stay with Ferrari until 2021 and its possible that with the new contract he will be their 2nd driver, or Leclerc is going to be promoted to be on equal terms with him, thats for sure.

  6. My choice for the most underwhelming team goes for Haas as well, but the most underwhelming driver is more difficult to choose: I’d leave both Williams-drivers out of it and go for someone else instead, and it’d probably be Lance Stroll.

    Merry Christmas, and a happy new year to everyone here at, including all other readers/posters, hopefully, 2020 is going to be another year of great racing.

  7. Williams – Claire = mid-field

  8. Peter Waters (@)
    24th December 2019, 23:52

    To all Motorsport enthusiasts

  9. You forgot Jesus birthday.

    1. Apparently it’s tomorrow, although that’s disputed of course.

Comments are closed.