Norris surprised AlphaTauri not closer to McLaren/Ferrari F1 fight

Lando Norris is surprised AlphaTauri is not closer to McLaren and Ferrari in the fight for third, saying it has "always been there or thereabouts" in Formula 1 this year.

Norris surprised AlphaTauri not closer to McLaren/Ferrari F1 fight

Ferrari and McLaren have spent much of 2021 fighting to lead the midfield teams and finish as best of the rest behind Red Bull and Mercedes in the constructors' championship.

Ferrari pulled 13.5 points clear of McLaren in the fight for third place in Mexico, but it was AlphaTauri who topped the midfield as Pierre Gasly finished the race in fourth place.

AlphaTauri is now level with Alpine in the fight for fifth in the constructors', but sits 149 points behind McLaren in fourth.

Asked if he thought AlphaTauri was becoming an unwanted variable in the fight for third against Ferrari, McLaren driver Norris said: "They have been all season.

"There's been many races where they've been a long way ahead of us, and some where they've been a long way behind us. They've had good weekends all year, they've been very competitive."

Norris admitted he was surprised to see such a big gap between McLaren and AlphaTauri in the standings, and that the team had never disregarded the threat posed by Gasly and teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

"I'm surprised they're not anywhere near as close as what they should be in terms of constructors' points, because they've had a very competitive car all season," Norris said. "They've always been there or thereabouts. They're always in consideration for qualifying and races pretty much through the whole year. We've never cancelled them out of anything.

"They're there, they'll probably make our life more difficult, which is a fair one to them. But hopefully we'll be ahead this weekend."

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21 , and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21 , and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Ferrari has managed to swing the battle for third place in its favour at recent races, enjoying a lift in form since introducing its upgraded power unit hybrid system.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz felt McLaren would have an edge over Ferrari this weekend, with the Italian team's simulations suggesting it was around half a tenth of a second behind for outright pace.

Norris said he "thought it was going to be the opposite" at Interlagos, but knew the battle would remain close.

"It's going to be tight, it's always tight," Norris said. "I don't think it's going to be convincing in any way, hopefully it isn't anyway. But Ferrari have been the stronger team lately, they've been the guys who have been consistently ahead in qualifying and the races.

"Looking at the stats lately, you'd put them ahead. But we're working hard. We've done a lot of reviews from Mexico and so on.

"Looking back at two years ago here, we had a pretty decent car and Carlos was on the podium and so on. So we're hopeful and confident we can have a good weekend here."

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: Brazil F1 battle vs Red Bull will be "as steep as it can be"
Previous article

Hamilton: Brazil F1 battle vs Red Bull will be "as steep as it can be"

Next article

Hamilton set for Brazilian GP grid penalty after F1 engine change

Hamilton set for Brazilian GP grid penalty after F1 engine change
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021