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Norris admits it would be hard to beat Racing Point in Spain

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris is targeting the Racing Points in the Spanish GP, but the Briton admits that it won’t be easy to beat the pink cars.

The cars of Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20, Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP20, and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Norris will start the Barcelona race from eighth on the grid, a place behind his team mate Carlos Sainz, while Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll qualified strongly in fourth and fifth.

In previous races McLaren has usually shown better race pace than Racing Point, and Norris and Sainz have often overtaken its cars.

However, the Silverstone team focussed on long run performance in Barcelona, and is expecting a more productive Sunday than of late.

“I think from the race space we saw in FP2 they looked definitely a bit stronger than us,” said Norris when asked by “But I don't think we can rule out [beating them]. We seem to be able to focus on our start, get a good start, and hang on.

“I don’t think it's on the easiest track to overtake on. So unlikely that if we are just in the middle of the race, and I'm behind them, to get past them on pure pace. I think it's going to be a bit more down to the strategy, a good lap one and a good start off the line if you want a chance.

“The characteristic of their car is similar to a certain other car, and they were very quick last year, so I don't think it's a surprise to us. They just seem to have done a good job here, and they seem to suit it a little bit more than some of the other tracks we have been to lately.

“But being four-tenths ahead of us or five-tenths ahead of us is still quite a margin, so it will be difficult to race against them tomorrow.”

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl admitted he hadn’t expected the MCL35 to suit Barcelona, and he anticipates a tougher Sunday.

“We pretty much ran the same car as we did in Silverstone here,” said the German. “So obviously great to see that we could be behind the three teams that clearly have a higher-performing car than us, Mercedes, Red Bull and Racing Point, and that we could actually be the fourth quickest team at least in qualifying.

“It was great to see the job the team did overnight in order to improve the car, because we were struggling a lot yesterday. But I still think that a track like here in Barcelona with these high temperatures, and also with the winds, is not something that suits our car. And to be honest I expect a difficult race tomorrow.

“But at the same time starting in P7 and P8 obviously still puts us in a good position to fight. Hopefully we can put up a good fight and score some good points again. 

“I think simply a track like Barcelona, especially in the third sector, is a track where we know we still have deficits on the car side. Something we know, and we are working on heavily as a team.

“And we made a good step here over winter with the car, especially in low-speed. But of course, as always it's never enough, and we keep working on it, and hopefully we can reduce this deficit towards the following races, or until the end of the season."

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