Norris: Our advantage consists of two strong riders

Lando Norris is satisfied with his performance in Suzuka…

Question: Lando, another fantastic race for you and McLaren. What do you think of second place this week compared to last week?
Lando Norris: In Suzuka everything was calmer, especially the last five or ten laps. This time the two of us reached the podium, which is very good for the team. This happened for the first time since Monza 2021, but this time both McLaren drivers were on the podium thanks to the car’s speed and not by chance.

Things didn’t always go according to plan, but we were fast. It was not possible to compete with Max. At the start I took half a car length lead, but he was faster. Otherwise we could attack with the car, our whole team did an excellent job.

Question: Did you expect to be 19 seconds behind Verstappen at the finish?
Lando Norris: I expected more delay. We were all waiting. But it turned out to be smaller. I lost 8 or 10 seconds behind Perez behind the virtual safety car, but I don’t know how actively Max attacked. I think if he wanted to, he could go a lot faster.

This circuit suits our car very well. Since Friday I feel very comfortable, I quickly found a good rhythm and in Suzuka this is very important. It happened again on Saturday and Sunday. So yeah, another podium. Excellent result, many points. Everything is fine.

Question: McLaren is 49 points behind Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship with six races remaining in the season. Can you get around them?
Lando Norris: Yes. I didn’t think the difference was that small. There aren’t many races until the end of the season. On some circuits Aston Martin will be stronger. Our advantage is that we have both riders competing for points and positions. We can help each other, use each other – this is a good advantage over many other teams.

Moreover, we are on the rise. The team is making progress and we demonstrated this again in Suzuka. It is clear that there will be more difficult races in the future, but the progress we have made this season is simply incredible: from the positions we took, we now finish 18 or 19 seconds behind the leader. I am proud of our team and we will continue to work.

Q: You said you lost time behind Perez in the virtual safety car mode. What happened?
Lando Norris: I have no idea. Maybe he had problems. In this mode you cannot overtake unless your opponent’s problems are obvious. I don’t know what was going on and I couldn’t risk just passing him.

He was driving very slowly, and then the VSC mode was canceled, and when I overtook him, he almost crashed into my car. I swore. I was confused, didn’t know what to do. Before the VSC mode I was 12 or 13 seconds ahead of the Ferrari drivers, and then they were a second and a half behind, so I lost about ten seconds.

If he has a problem, he should stop and show that he has a problem. He didn’t, so I couldn’t risk overtaking under VSC. Next time I’ll ask what to do, but I think I did the right thing, so it’s okay.

Source: F1 News

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