Norris surprised AlphaTauri not closer to McLaren/Ferrari F1 fight

Lando Norris is surprised AlphaTauri is not closer to McLaren and Ferrari in the fight for third, saying it has "always been there or thereabouts" in Formula 1 this year.

Norris surprised AlphaTauri not closer to McLaren/Ferrari F1 fight

Ferrari and McLaren have spent much of 2021 fighting to lead the midfield teams and finish as best of the rest behind Red Bull and Mercedes in the constructors' championship.

Ferrari pulled 13.5 points clear of McLaren in the fight for third place in Mexico, but it was AlphaTauri who topped the midfield as Pierre Gasly finished the race in fourth place.

AlphaTauri is now level with Alpine in the fight for fifth in the constructors', but sits 149 points behind McLaren in fourth.

Asked if he thought AlphaTauri was becoming an unwanted variable in the fight for third against Ferrari, McLaren driver Norris said: "They have been all season.

"There's been many races where they've been a long way ahead of us, and some where they've been a long way behind us. They've had good weekends all year, they've been very competitive."

Norris admitted he was surprised to see such a big gap between McLaren and AlphaTauri in the standings, and that the team had never disregarded the threat posed by Gasly and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

"I'm surprised they're not anywhere near as close as what they should be in terms of constructors' points, because they've had a very competitive car all season," Norris said.

"They've always been there or thereabouts. They're always in consideration for qualifying and races pretty much through the whole year. We've never cancelled them out of anything.

"They're there, they'll probably make our life more difficult, which is a fair one to them. But hopefully we'll be ahead this weekend."

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21 , and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21 , and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Ferrari has managed to swing the battle for third place in its favour at recent races, enjoying a lift in form since introducing its upgraded power unit hybrid system.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr felt McLaren would have an edge over Ferrari this weekend, with the Italian team's simulations suggesting it was around half a tenth of a second behind for outright pace.

Read Also:

Norris said he "thought it was going to be the opposite" at Interlagos, but knew the battle would remain close.

"It's going to be tight, it's always tight," Norris said.

"I don't think it's going to be convincing in any way, hopefully it isn't anyway. But Ferrari have been the stronger team lately, they've been the guys who have been consistently ahead in qualifying and the races.

"Looking at the stats lately, you'd put them ahead. But we're working hard. We've done a lot of reviews from Mexico and so on.

"Looking back at two years ago here, we had a pretty decent car and Carlos was on the podium and so on. So we're hopeful and confident we can have a good weekend here."

shares
comments

Related video

Szafnauer has "no intention of leaving" Aston Martin amid Alpine links
Previous article

Szafnauer has "no intention of leaving" Aston Martin amid Alpine links

Next article

Honda ‘cannot believe’ streak of Mercedes F1 engine penalties

Honda ‘cannot believe’ streak of Mercedes F1 engine penalties
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021