McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl believes Lando Norris can achieve third place in the drivers’ championship this season given his form thus far.
Norris currently holds third in the standings through 10 of 23 races, behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, and five points clear of Valtteri Bottas. Sergio Perez is nine points behind Norris in fifth. Additionally, Norris is the only driver to score a point in every race so far this season. When asked by RACER if retaining P3 is a realistic target to have, Seidl noted the consistency makes it a possibility.
“Whether it is a realistic target is difficult to say because the Red Bull car and the Mercedes car is clearly a better car,” Seidl said. “Valtteri and Checo have shown some great races this year and also from the past, what they can do.”
“So obviously down to the strong performance by Lando, together with the team and the competitive car we have this year, we’ve managed after 10 races to be in P3, so it’s not unrealistic to stay there.
“Let’s see what we can do in the second half of the season. Plus we have to be honest as well, one time or another something goes wrong on the Red Bull side or the Mercedes side because we not in a position purely on performance to beat them. (The same goes for) Valtteri and Checo.
“That’s the position we are in and we should not forget we also have very strong competition from the Ferrari drivers, but of course we wake up in the morning because we want to win races. That is not possible at the moment, yet, down to our own fault so we try to do better races in terms of strategy, or in terms of staying out of trouble more than the others or luck from time to time and these all combined put us in the position we are in at the moment.
“Again, it’s thanks to the great performances of the drivers and the team here at the track and back home. That’s where we will triumph at the end of the season, in giving our competitors a tough time every time we meet them on the track.”
While Norris finished ahead of Perez at Silverstone, he was behind Bottas and Charles Leclerc, with the latter threatening to hold off Lewis Hamilton to win. Ferrari’s pace is not unexpected to Seidl given the size of the team, but McLaren has some updates to try and stay ahead of its rival for third place in the constructors’ standings.
“To be honest, I’m not surprised by the strong performance a team like Ferrari can pull off,” Seidl said. “I’m not surprised by steps they can make as a team during. They are a strong team with two strong drivers that have all the resources also that you need to react to problems. They have the team that you need to react to problems, so it’s not a surprise.
“It will be a very tense battle until the end of the season. We’re bringing some upgrades to our car for Hungary to make sure it will compete. So, it’s great for us that we are in P3 in the constructors’ championship, 163 points after 10 races is again a big step forward for us compared to last year. So, very happy with that.”