Lando Norris says McLaren is the fifth fastest team on the F1 grid

F1 Miami Grand Prix - Preview

Lando Norris is currently seventh in the F1 standings (Picture: Getty)

Lando Norris has claimed that McLaren are not as quick as previously thought, only placing them as the fifth fastest team on the grid.

Having made great strides in recent years, including winning their first race in nine years last season, McLaren’s form in 2022 has been very mixed.

After a disastrous opening race in Bahrain, things improved in Saudi Arabia, where Norris finished seventh before the Brit and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth in Australia.

At Imola, Norris recorded McLaren’s first podium of the season. Many assumed that the team had solved its problems and now owned a very competitive car.

However, the Woking-based team again struggled for pace at last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, with Norris eventually retiring after contact with Pierre Gasly while Ricciardo was only 13th.

When asked where he thinks McLaren is in terms of pace, Norris told “I think we’re behind Mercedes.

F1 Miami Grand Prix - Practice

McLaren’s Norris crashed at the first Miami Grand Prix (Picture: Getty)

“We’re also behind Alfa Romeo, but we’re in good shape with Alpine and AlphaTauri. Haas are also somewhere in that region.

“Well, I think it’s quite simple – it’s tight.

‘In which [Miami] We have decent pace in the race. It will only be a little while before we can take on Mercedes and the guys at the front. If we can do that, we can be happy.

“Miami has a lot of slow corners where Mercedes has one of the best cars in the field. From day one, the Mercedes was good in these sections.

“I guess they figured out how to get more potential out of the car this weekend. That doesn’t surprise me, it’s been like this in Formula 1 for years. Sometimes your car suits the track, sometimes it suits another car better.”

From the five races so far this year the McLaren has shown a preference for less high-speed circuits in cooler conditions, which bodes well as Monaco and Canada are very soon on the calendar.

While Ferrari and Red Bull are the obvious front runners this season and Mercedes is a clear third despite all its struggles, the midfield battle seems wide open.

Just 31 points separate McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Alpine, AlphaTauri and Haas, all of whom have shown good pace at times this year, while even Aston Martin and Williams were able to finish in the points behind them, suggesting that F1 is on one set is the tightest constructor battles for years.

Norris, currently seventh in the drivers’ standings, just a point behind Sir Lewis Hamilton, is aiming for big points at the next race in Spain, where McLaren had a positive winter test.

“I would say things are looking a little more hopeful than Miami after winter testing,” added the 22-year-old.

“I hope we manage to make a few more improvements to the car. It’s hard to say what we’ll take away from the Miami weekend.’

MORE : Lewis Hamilton to be ‘finally’ replaced at Mercedes by George Russell, says ex-F1 champ

MORE: Martin Brundle admits he hates doing his F1 gridwalks after Miami Grand Prix debacle

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General Sports Lando Norris says McLaren is the fifth fastest team on the F1 grid

Nate Jones

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