Norris rejects Alonso’s claim McLaren are “over-confident” of beating Aston Martin

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by and

Fernando Alonso’s suggestion McLaren may be “over-confident” of beating Aston Martin to fourth place in the championship was shot down by Lando Norris.

Over the last three grand prix weekends McLaren have more than halved Aston Martin’s lead over them from 104 points to 49. There are six rounds remaining, half of which pay extra points as they are sprint events.

McLaren have made strides with their performance thanks to updates introduced at the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this year and in Singapore two rounds ago. Both their drivers finished on the podium in the last race at Suzuka.

Alonso acknowledged Aston Martin’s rivals hold the upper hand at present, but suggested they may be too confident of beating them.

“Obviously they have the momentum, for sure, and they’ve been quite fast,” said the two times world champion. “But every weekend we see up and downs for everybody.

“They’ve been very strong before the August break in Austria, in Silverstone. I think they were close to being both [cars] on the podium in Silverstone. And then in Zandvoort, we were on the podium and they struggled a little bit.

“So, it’s good if they’re over-confident. Let’s see if we can beat them in Abu Dhabi.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

However Norris pointed out McLaren took 29 points off Aston Martin in the Japanese Grand Prix and are currently on course to catch their rivals.

“How many points did we catch last weekend? Over 20. So unless his maths is deteriorating, which it definitely isn’t…

“Fernando’s just Fernando, he’s always going to say things. He always makes himself look very good or makes other people look bad. He’s very good at that.”

He dismissed the claim McLaren are too confident of coming out ahead. “I don’t think we’re over-confident in any way. I think we’re the last people who have ever been over-confident in saying anything, especially myself.

“I thought we were a lot more points behind. So for us to be within 49 or 47, whatever it is, with six races still to go, with two cars performing well – for them, they struggle at the minute to have two cars up there in Q3, up there at the end of the race – I would say it’s silly for him to think the opposite.

“But he’s a smart guy. He’s not silly in any way. I’m confident we can do it just because if we can have more P2s and P3s and things then of course it’s possible.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Norris finished within 20 seconds of race winner Max Verstappen in Japan, despite losing some time during a Virtual Safety Car period behind the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez. However Norris doesn’t expect McLaren will be able to rival Red Bull in Qatar.

“Not unless they have a Singapore-style thing, which I don’t believe they will,” he said. “Unlikely.

“I feel confident we can have another strong weekend. To the level of Japan? Tough to say. I feel like Mercedes are going to be quick this weekend. Maybe Ferrari not quite as strong.

“Our goal is to replicate what we did in Japan. I think after Japan, after looking at particularly the race trace, our pace was very strong even compared to Max. I finished 19 seconds behind, I probably lost eight, minimum, behind the VSC to Sergio. So I would have finished 10, 11, 12 seconds behind Max.

“I think that was pretty incredible for us to achieve such a thing. So our goal is to do the same this weekend. Whether we can close it or the gap is going to be bigger is too difficult to say. Will it be a win, I don’t think so.”

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 F1 season

Browse all 2023 F1 season 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.

2 comments on “Norris rejects Alonso’s claim McLaren are “over-confident” of beating Aston Martin”

  1. Gotta love the childlike honesty of Norris.

    An unbelievably talented driver who speaks with almost no ego.

  2. “I finished 19 seconds behind, I probably lost eight, minimum, behind the VSC to Sergio. So I would have finished 10, 11, 12 seconds behind Max.”

    There Norris goes again – he only lost 4 seconds due to VSC & Perez and if Norris would have been closer (within a few seconds) to Max the last 20 laps fairly sure Max would have reached the finish flag at least 10 seconds earlier.

    Anyway curious and excited to see how Mercedes versus Ferrari battle as well as McLaren versus Aston Martin battle is going to be the last 6 race weekends.

Comments are closed.