“Alpine were very fast today”– Lando Norris warns his team of the pace obtained by Alpine for Hungary and fears losing to them.
McLaren is leading the race in the ‘best of the rest’– after Mercedes and Red Bull, but their 21-year-old superstar Lando Norris has warned of the newfound pace of Alpine.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 30, 2021
After the two practice sessions on Friday, Norris has opined that Alpine and Alpha Tauri are faster, though rated Ferrari a bit slower than the Woking-based team.
“No, Alpine were very fast today, AlphaTauri were very fast today,” Norris said. “Ferrari were maybe a little bit slower than we were expecting – I thought they’d be very fast here – so I don’t know. Even we were expecting to be a bit better.”
“The conditions are very different to what they were last year, it was much colder last year, the tarmac was still a bit fresher and newer. It changes, it’s never the same, and we’ll sit down tonight and try to understand why and try to make some improvements because of that.”
Desperately need Q3
Norris is the only remaining driver to obtain a zero from a Grand Prix, but with the rise of other teams, he is aspiring for a Q3 finish on Saturday, considering overtaking at Hungaroring is quite difficult.
“I reckon it’s been one of our tougher FP2s,” Norris explained. “We’re not amazing normally in FP2, but we never struggle quite as much like this; the gap to Alpine was pretty big.
“So I think getting into Q3 is the main one, particularly as it’s a very qualifying-dominated track. Tomorrow’s the big day, so we’ll put all of our eggs into it right now.”
Furthermore, Norris points out teams struggling with the overheating of the track, which now makes the situation tricky for the rest of the weekend.
“Yeah it just doesn’t feel nice to drive,” Norris added. “When you want to put a qualifying lap together you want to feel like you’re really on the limit everywhere and now it feels so easy to be over the limit if that makes sense, as a driver it just doesn’t feel particularly nice.”
“We’ll try to make some more improvements tomorrow and see if we can get anymore lap time out of it.”