Norris: McLaren should “start to expect” fighting for wins

Jaden Diaz

Lando Norris is confident that McLaren can regularly compete for race wins this year. After missing out on victory in Imola by mere tenths, Norris believes the MCL38 is capable of securing more silverware in 2024. He believes this must be an expectation, rather than a hope, for the personnel at Woking moving forward.

In some ways, the Imola GP was a continuation of Max Verstappen’s impressive form in 2024. He converted yet another Pole Position into race victory. At face value, this is a return to business as usual. However, the story of the weekend was very different to this.

The Dutchman struggled all weekend with set-up, especially in free practice. He narrowly finished ahead of the McLaren duo in qualifying, benefiting from Nico Hulkenberg’s two – which was worth around two-tenths.

In the early stages of the race, Verstappen seemed to have everything under control. However, Norris had enough tyre life and performance in his MCL38 to gain several tenths per lap on the reigning Champion in the final 15 laps.


After taking victory in Miami, the Grand Prix winner explained that McLaren must be ambitious:

“We’ve been competitive all weekend, and I think we’re at the point where we’re able to fight Ferrari and Red Bull consistently. We must get used to that.

“The team is doing a very good job, so it’s great that fighting at the front is now business as usual. We just need to keep focused on improving.

“It’s still a surprise to say it’s frustrating to not win, but after last weekend and the improvements we made, it’s what we should start to expect.”

In general terms, McLaren tends to keep a low profile. For example, before the Miami upgrades arrived, Andrea Stella downplayed the team’s chances of overtaking Red Bull. Just days later, the MCL38 took the chequered flag in first place.

Despite this tendency, the Woking-based squad is becoming slightly more punchy in their interviews. To some extent, this is inevitable. The British team has nowhere to hide, especially as they begin to fight for victories consistently. Alongside Ferrari, they are increasing the pressure on Red Bull.

As seen in Imola, fine margins will define victory and defeat in F1 this year. Three teams are now firmly at the front of the grid. What remains of the 2024 season could be a hard-fought battle from race to race.