Norris "will go for it" if chance to attack Verstappen in Austrian GP appears

Lando Norris will take the chance to "go for it" and race Max Verstappen in Formula 1's Austrian Grand Prix if he can, but remains "realistic" over McLaren's race potential.

Norris "will go for it" if chance to attack Verstappen in Austrian GP appears

Norris will share the front row with Verstappen for Sunday's second 2021 race at the Red Bull Ring, after they topped qualifying, with the Red Bull driver claiming pole.

In last weekend's Styrian GP at the same venue, Norris opted not to defend hard against Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas after starting third, as he was wary of damaging his tyres and therefore falling back to the chasing midfield pack once the 'Class A' runners had gone by.

He successfully took fifth in that race, the maximum result for McLaren if none of the frontrunners hit trouble, and initially joked that "probably another P5" would be his target in the Austrian GP.

But Norris then explained his attitude towards racing Verstappen if an opportunity arises because he wants "to be optimistic".

Norris said: "We'll do our best to try and take a step forwards and go in the right direction.

"But it wasn't like we were exactly close last weekend and now we have that little bit more of a step, I don't want to be too negative, I want to be optimistic as I should be.

"But I'm also realistic and know that it's going to be a very tough race.

"We're in the best position possible to maximise everything, but if I have a chance to go for P1, a chance to race Max and go for it then I will.

"I'm still doing that, I'm still racing – I still want to do the best I can.

"But I think I also know what's best for us, what's best for myself and the team and who we're, sadly, really racing against in the race tomorrow."

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Norris ended up just 0.048s behind Verstappen after the final runs in Q3 on Saturday, where the Red Bull driver did not improve due to a lack of tow running at the head of the shootout pack.

But Norris does not think he would be able to find enough time to claim pole if he had the chance to do his final lap again.

"Of course there's always that little bit, but I'm sure Max would say the same thing," he explained.

"It's tough because it's so easy to just run that little bit wide and get your lap deleted and so on.

"And I think I improved already quite a bit in those last two corners compared to the rest of my lap.

"It's like risk versus reward and how much do you really risk? And I think I took the risk and I ended up where I did.

"But if I think if I had loads more opportunities or if you gave me another opportunity I don't necessarily think I would improve that much more.

Read Also:

"We are where we are. Throughout this year we know we don't have a good enough car comparing to Red Bull or Mercedes in general, and maybe today we do, but considering how much quicker they were last weekend I think it's obvious we struggle in a lot of areas.

"The car is not as quick as them and a lot of things are not possible comparing to them. So, I think I maximised our result and that's all I could do."

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso: Penalty will be "never enough" for Vettel after Austrian GP Q2 incident

Previous article

Alonso: Penalty will be "never enough" for Vettel after Austrian GP Q2 incident

Next article

Bottas and Sainz summoned by stewards over Austria F1 Q2 incident

Bottas and Sainz summoned by stewards over Austria F1 Q2 incident
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021