Alpine have “done a pretty bad job” not to be further ahead of us – Norris

2022 Italian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lando Norris says it’s no surprise Alpine have started to pull ahead of McLaren in the championship as they have a faster car.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, in which McLaren scored a one-two last year, Norris cast doubt on his team’s chances of preventing Alpine from taking the fourth place in the constructors championship McLaren scored last year.

“In general, we’re not as competitive compared to last season,” he told media including RaceFans. “Also, everyone else has taken some good steps forward, such as Alpine. So I think just competition’s tough. Obviously Ferrari are a long way ahead of us as well so that’s an extra two cars which we have to get out of the way if we want to be back on the podium.

“We’ll still try and give it our all. I think we don’t come into races thinking ‘this is where we were last year, we should do exactly the same’. Zandvoort, I personally think, was a lot better for us this year than it was last year. So some things are definitely better.

“But I mean, it’s obvious we’ve not scored as many podiums and good qualifying [performances] as last year and that’s just simply because the car as a balance throughout the season has not been as good.”

While Alpine have brought a steady stream of updates for their A522, McLaren’s developments for its MCL36 has been more sporadic. But although Alpine only moved ahead of McLaren in the points four races ago, Norris believes their rivals have always had the potential to out-score them.

“Alpine have been ahead of us pretty much since day one of the season, like generally have been ahead of us,” said Norris. “There’s maybe three or four races this season where we might just have been a little bit quicker than them.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“Otherwise though the majority, and quite easily the majority, they’ve been a better car. So for them to only just be ahead of us in the championship is more of a ‘we’ve done a very good job and they’ve done a pretty bad job’.”

With seven races left, Alpine have 125 points to McLaren’s 101. Norris has taken the majority of his team’s haul – 82 – while Alpine’s score is split more evenly between Esteban Ocon on 66 and Fernando Alonso on 59.

Norris believes the A522 is fundamentally a quicker car but reliability problems and other setbacks for Alpine have kept McLaren in contention.

“When you see the margins of qualifying from them to us sometimes, their pace in the race comparing to us sometimes, it’s never that much the opposite way around,” he said. “So they have a better car, they’ve just done a worse job throughout the season and made more mistakes, things like that.

“Fernando was on, in Australia for, P2 or P3 in qualifying in Q3 and we were miles away. So they’ve had a better car – they have pretty much all season. So I think we’ve done a better job with the car that we’ve had this year.

“Now they’re just ironing out a few more of their problems and issues and maybe also improved the car a little bit more than we have and taken a few more steps.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Italian Grand Prix articles

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on “Alpine have “done a pretty bad job” not to be further ahead of us – Norris”

  1. Considering their reliability at the start of the year, yeah, they should be a lot further ahead. But with these teams only managing, at best, a 5th place if they are lucky, a 4th if the stars align, or a 3rd as in Lando’s Imola miracle, it’s hard to pull ahead that quickly…

    1. I’d say that only having one of their drivers regularly scoring also hurts McLaren a lot, but it is clear that the car is not great and certainly not on par with last years car.

    2. I think this is Lando’s most British way of motivating his team and complimenting them and taking a dump on Ricciardo. Mclaren have had a superior car several times this season. Lando has capitalized on that just about every time. Also Mclaren’s reliability has been solid. But Ricciardo has been sadly dreadful.

      Alpine on the other hand… where to start? Reliability has cost them at least 25 points but likely more. Their pitiful strategy has cost them probably another 15 points although that’s hard to estimate.

      I do agree with Lando’s overall point though.

      1. If anything he’s been kind to NOT mention ricciardo, because HE is the reason they’re behind!

  2. Hahaha. So spicy.

    1. He’s just saying it like it is. No revelations. He’s always plain spoken about the car’s performance.

  3. Norris is totally right.

    Both teams are having yet another poor season, but for Alpine to claim this minor ‘win’ as some sort of success seems odd at best.

    1. Plus, Norris is essentially going up against Alonso and Ocon on his own

      1. Yes, overall if ricciardo were performing like he did at red bull, they should easily be ahead of alpine.

  4. Pretty hard to beat Alpine when you only have 1 car.

Comments are closed.