I can fight for the title this year – Norris

Lando Norris believes he can challenge for the Formula 1 drivers’ championship this season despite Max Verstappen opening up a 69-point advantage at with another victory in Spain.

Verstappen won his second consecutive race — and third in the last four — despite being under severe pressure from Norris in Barcelona, with the McLaren driver starting from pole position but losing out in the opening laps. Since winning in Miami, Norris has been second to Verstappen on three occasions — including by less than a second in Imola and 2.2s in Spain — and he says the performance is there to start closing the gap to the championship leader.

“I think so — I think we should have done better [in Spain],” Norris said. “We should have got some points back on Max. Potentially, there was a chance to beat him in Canada. So two races that I finished second and he’s won. But Max needs to stop winning in order to achieve that.


“Even though I moved into second in the championship, that doesn’t matter. I couldn’t care if I was second or 10th. It’s more about the gap to what Max is — and he’s still extending it at the minute and that’s something we can’t afford to do, or can’t afford to kind of let him run away with it at this point of the season.

“But we can do it. If I just made some better decisions in Canada and if I had a better start [in Spain], we could have won two races. And I know there’s always a lot of ‘shoulda, woulda, couldas’ but we have what it takes. It’s just about putting it all together.”

Norris says it’s McLaren’s consistency that is putting it in the frame at each race, although he conceded the margins are so small that taking regular points off Red Bull and Verstappen will be difficult.

“Max is not making any mistakes, really. So I think as soon as you make one little mistake, they’re going to be ahead,” he said. “I think, honestly, if you look at it [in qualifying], they probably had a slightly quicker car, in my opinion. [In the race] we had the quicker car, but obviously I still managed to finish second. So it’s about the smaller things. But, every track is a bit different. We’ve seen Red Bull struggle a little bit more a few races ago. I think we’re still proving to be one of the most consistent teams at every track that we’ve been to.

“Mercedes were quick in Canada, and now probably a little bit behind, so it’s a little bit up and down. I think we just need to keep doing what we’re doing, because it’s good enough for the time being. It’s just trying to eliminate a couple of those small little mistakes.”

Story originally appeared on Racer