McLaren: Norris must not act different in fight with F1 title contenders

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl does not want Lando Norris to treat the start of the race in Abu Dhabi any differently despite lining up behind the Formula 1 title rivals.

Listen to this article

Norris qualified third for McLaren on Saturday at the Yas Marina Circuit behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who enter the season finale tied on points at the top of the drivers' championship.

Norris said soon after qualifying that he felt "a bit nervous" lining up behind Verstappen and Hamilton, and that he felt reluctant to get involved in their championship fight.

But McLaren team principal Seidl felt it was important for Norris to treat the start of the race "the same as you always do" and not to prepare for the opening lap with any special plan because of the championship situation.

"If you try to be too cautious, for example going into the first corners, or you try to orchestrate something, you take this intuitive feeling the drivers, or the experience they are having, and this intuitive reaction away from them, and then it starts to get dangerous," Seidl said after qualifying.

"I think that must be the process of tomorrow for Lando.

"In the end, the objective is clear for tomorrow, we want to score a good result for us as a team, and we want to get back in P5 in the drivers' championship with Lando.

"In order to do that, we need a good result, and that's how we approach it."

Lando Norris, McLaren, waves from the grid after securing third in Qualifying

Lando Norris, McLaren, waves from the grid after securing third in Qualifying

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Norris starts Sunday's race four points behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the fight for fifth in the drivers' standings, and is just 4.5 points ahead of Carlos Sainz in seventh.

But he felt sure that he could try and fight up the order to push and regain the place from Leclerc without causing any issues in the title battle.

"I think I have confidence in myself that I can do what I need to do without causing any controversy, without causing anything bad going on," Norris said.

"That's part of their racing too. It's also up to them to race other people. It's been an easy championship for them, and I'm sure there have been much bigger hurdles for this season than just trying to pass me in the McLaren.

Read Also:

"So yeah, of course we need to pick our battles wisely. And I know I'm racing Ferrari, realistically. But in doing so, I can gain track position if I do get involved and try and get them at the start, so I'll do that.

"I just need to know I'm not racing them in the long term of the race, and they have their own battle. I guess you have to leave maybe a bit more room and have a bit more respect because they are in that battle for the championship.

"The last thing I want to do is for anything to happen. Yeah, this is tricky. It's a difficult situation to be in to be honest, we just have to wait and see."

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull: Mercedes not comfortable losing to "just an energy drinks company"
Previous article

Red Bull: Mercedes not comfortable losing to "just an energy drinks company"

Next article

Verstappen or Hamilton? Who holds strategy advantage for F1 finale?

Verstappen or Hamilton? Who holds strategy advantage for F1 finale?
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022