Norris Suggests It Will Be Very Challenging To Replicate Last Year's Result In Japan

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 at 07:58
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McLaren driver Lando Norris suggested his team expects to be strong at Suzuka Circuit, but it's not a promise of a podium since the competition has grown.
During the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri took a double podium for their team, finishing P2 and P3 behind the dominant Max Verstappen.
Suzuka Circuit is a track where a car that handles well in high-speed turns should and will have an advantage. As McLaren showed in Jeddah or Australia, that is exactly what suits their car.
Comparing the Albert Park Circuit from the most recent race weekend to Suzuka, the 24-year-old McLaren F1 driver asserted they are similar in many ways.

"I think they're kind of similar. You've got a lot of high speed. The problem is Ferrari has improved their high speed a lot and that's where they were struggling last year. So that's why they've been able to take such a good step forward."

Norris achieved a podium in Australia, so if the two tracks are similar, he expects a very strong performance in Japan as well.
However, Verstappen retired from the Australian Grand Prix. He's definitely going to be strong in Japan, and both Ferrari drivers beat McLaren as well. That is, at least three cars will be very challenging to beat.

"I think we can still have a good weekend. We can still look forward to it. And I would love to say that if we can get two cars on a podium again, it would be a lovely weekend."

"But I think we have two more cars this year that we're competing against on these types of circuits, not just Max."

Nevertheless, Japan remains one of the races that should suit McLaren the best this year, as opposed to some other tracks like Circuit Zandvoort, so it will be interesting to watch how McLaren compares to its rivals.