McLaren closer to winning races than for many years – Norris

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In the round-up: Lando Norris believes McLaren are closer to winning races than they have been for a long time

In brief

McLaren close to winning – Norris

McLaren’s Lando Norris believes his team, which he recently signed a contract extension with, are as close to winning a grand prix than they have been since he joined them.

“There were moments we were close to winning races last year and a few races we were not miles away from a Red Bull,” Norris said. “And last year, when you think of it, it was the most competitive car ever in Formula 1 and a few races we were extremely, extremely close.

“So with the knowledge of if you want to win one race, we’re the closest we have ever been since I’ve been here at McLaren and for many, many years. But fighting for a championship is a bigger step. If you ask me ‘do you think you can win races this year’, I’d probably be more inclined to say yes. But to go straight into, ‘can you win races and a championship’, I think that’s another level.”

Camara victorious in FRMEC

Rafael Camara took victory in the third and final race in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship in Dubai, beating championship leader Tuukka Taponen.

Camara led every lap from pole position to win ahead of Ferrari academy driver Taponen as the race finished behind the Safety Car. Brando Badoer was third for a second straight race.

The result gives Taponen a comfortable lead of 32 points after three of five rounds. The series returns to Yas Marina for a final time next weekend before concluding back in Dubai the following week.

Lacorte and Ngatoa win in FROC

There were two new winners in the Formula Regional Oceania Championship at New Zealand’s Hampton Downs circuit yesterday.

Alpine academy drive Lacorte won the reverse-grid second race of the weekend following a race-ending red flag for a dramatic crash for Gerrard Xie. In race three, Kaleb Ngatoa beat championship leader Roman Bilinski, who extended his advantage to 50 points over Liam Sceats.

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This weekend’s Caption Competition winner is AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken!:

“This is really strange, Lewis. Whenever I try to look at my contract status for 2025, it just says, ‘We are checking…’”

Thanks to everyone who came up with caption ideas this week and a special mention to Urvaksh, John Beak, Philip and Red Andy who all came up with particularly good captions.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Tom Watson and Ian Hayward!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1956: Hector Rebaque, who started 41 grands prix and was team mate to Nelson Piquet in 1981 when the Brabram driver won the world championship, but never finished on the podium

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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6 comments on “McLaren closer to winning races than for many years – Norris”

  1. “So with the knowledge of if you want to win one race, we’re the closest we have ever been since I’ve been here at McLaren”

    Closer than when Daniel beat you or closer than when Oscar beat you??? Lol

  2. With regards to the Middle East series, Formula Regional and F4, the third race in F4 UAE was simply thrilling.

    Additionally, while Ferrari drivers lineup dominates the news, Tuukka Taponen and Oliver Bearman would be a great paring for the team in five years.

  3. That may have been the case late last season Lando, but 2024 is a new season with new cars.

    We’ll get to see very soon whether or not Mclaren is still somewhat in the mix, or whether they’ve been overtaken by Mercedes and Ferrari attempting to catch up with RBR who will no doubt arrive with a faster car than last years.

    Give it a few races into the season. Then tell us whether or not you’re closer to a win than you’ve ever. Been.

  4. I guess when you’re young 2021 feels like many many years ago, but okay, I get his meaning.

    Last year they were okay for podiums never seemed like a race win was in the card compared to Ferrari, who won a race and were close to another in Las Vegas. Let’s see where Ferrari and Mercedes are this season before I’ll believe McLaren have permanently jumped them when it was clear that both those teams more or less gave up on 2023 from the first few races onwards.

  5. We want Gulf!
    Gulf Gulf Gulf.

  6. I have an opinion
    6th February 2024, 9:51

    Norris forgets 2021. For three races mid-season, McLaren was the car to beat. Norris blew his two chances, while his teammate did more than come close to winning with his opportunity.

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