The 2022 Formula One season comes to its next event on the championship calendar visiting Monza for the iconic Italian Grand Prix and, now that McLaren has its driver pairing confirmed for 2023 after weeks of speculations and scandals, the Woking-based team faces the race weekend as another chance to fight Alpine for P4 on the constructors' table. Lando Norris commented his thoughts on media day on Thursday and assured Alpine has done a "worse" job than McLaren this year, even though the Enstone team is 24 points clear of the orange guys on the standings.
“Alpine have been ahead of us pretty much since day one of the season,” said Norris.
“Like, genuinely have been ahead of us. There’s maybe three or four races this season where we might just have been a little bit quicker than them.
“Otherwise through the majority and quite easily the majority, they’ve been a better car.
“So, for them to only just be ahead of us in the championship is more we’ve done a very good job, and they’ve done a pretty bad job.
“When you see the margins of qualifying from them to us sometimes, their pace in the race compared to us sometimes, it’s never that much the opposite way round.
“They have a better car, they’ve just done a worse job throughout the season and made more mistakes, things like that – had more problems with the car, whatever.
“Fernando in Australia was on for what, P2 or P3 in qualifying? And we were miles away. So they’ve had a better car, pretty much all season.
“We’ve done a better job with the car that we’ve had this year. Now they’re just ironing out a few more of their problems and issues and maybe also improved the car a bit more than we have and taken a few more steps.”
Remembering the team's maiden victory last year in Daniel Ricciardo's hands, the Brit was asked what are McLaren's possibilities of repeating the story now in 2022 at Monza.
“In general, we’re not as competitive compared to last season. Also, everyone else has taken some good steps forward, such as Alpine."
“Competition’s tough at the minute. Ferrari are a long way ahead of us as well. So it’s an extra two cars which we have to get out of the way if we want to be back on the podium."
“I don’t know, I think we’ll still try and give it our all. I think we don’t come into races thinking ‘this is where we were last year, we should do exactly the same."
“Zandvoort I personally think was a lot better for us this year than it was last year. So some things are definitely better. But it’s obvious, we’ve not had as many podiums and good qualifyings as last year."
“That’s just simply because the car as a balance throughout the season has not been as good.”