McLaren were the worst performing team in Formula One’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix but Lando Norris said on Thursday there was no crisis brewing.
The former champions failed to score a point in the March 5 opener with Australian rookie Oscar Piastri retiring after 13 laps due to an electrical problem.
Norris made six pit stops due to a pneumatic pressure leak before finishing 17th and last, two laps down.
He said both McLaren drivers had suffered issues not seen in years and the team, with engine provider Mercedes, were confident they had now been fixed.
“Everyone makes it sound a lot worse than it is. Calling it a crisis? It’s far from that at all, it’s nothing close to it,” Norris told reporters ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah. “We’re confident we can get some good points, I would say, this weekend.
“Towards the top four teams, it’s a very big jump. But I’m confident we can be in that fight. I don’t think we’re that far away. It was made very clear and very early on that we’re far from where we want to be.”
Norris said McLaren, fifth overall last year, should be doing better with their resources but they still had plenty they could achieve this season.
“I believe we should have been in the top 10, scored some points in Bahrain, if we didn’t have the issues,” he added. “So our plan is to limit that, not have any issues and try again and make up for [what] we lost.”
Norris also played down swirling speculation about his future, and possible moves to Ferrari or Mercedes if vacancies arose.
“I guess I’m at a point where it doesn’t affect me in any way. I’m, I guess, fine with it to an extent, apart from when it’s just complete BS, that people try and come up with, and completely fake stories that people make up,” he said.
“But I think we do a good job within the team, within McLaren, explaining things to people and telling them what’s going on, explaining my side of the story and things that go on with me, things that go on within teams.”