Lando Norris had a disappointing 2022 Formula 1 campaign. He finished third at the Emilia Romagna GP, his and McLaren's sole podium finish across the entire campaign.
The team's MCL36 struggled throughout the year, which saw the team finish fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. They finished behind Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes, and Alpine after finishing third in 2020 and fourth in 2021.
George Russell and Carlos Sainz have won races and are considered to be in the fight for the F1 title in 2023. The former beat Norris to the F2 championship in 2018 while Sainz was his teammate at McLaren for two years.
Norris believes that he deserves to be fighting with Russell and Sainz for race wins. However, he knows that he and his team are not in a position to do so right now.
He told Motorsport.com:
“I feel like I deserve to be in that battle. I feel like I can be, and I think it will be a great battle. But it’s just not the position that I’m in at the minute… I can race against them in the future, and I can do the same as what they’re doing.”
McLaren are waiting for their new simulator and wind tunnel to be completed. However, Lando Norris believes that the team can make the most of the resources on hand to reduce the gap to the teams ahead of them.
The 23-year-old said:
“The fact is, we have to do a better job and the team have to do a better job with making a better car. I think already next year we need to make progress. I have good faith that we can.”
“We have a huge amount of what we need in the right areas and the right people and so on. It's just that final hurdle, the final thing to get us up to the same level to then have no excuse against Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari. The team know that they need to do a better job.”
McLaren boss Zak Brown predicts long and successful F1 career for Lando Norris
McLaren boss Zak Brown believes that Lando Norris will have a long and successful career in Formula 1. He praised the Belgian-British driver for his honesty and stated that he has improved quite a lot over the years.
"The great thing about him [Lando Norris] is he is very honest and owns everything. And he’s definitely improved. When he first went up against Fernando Alonso, it was like another day at the office. I think that calmness and coolness is why he's so consistent. I think he's got another 10 to 15 years ahead of him."
McLaren are set to unveil their car for the 2023 F1 season on February 13.