System 1 |  Norris thinks McLaren F1 is ‘backing away from Alpine’ at Monza

System 1 | Norris thinks McLaren F1 is ‘backing away from Alpine’ at Monza

Lando Norris finished the first day of Italian Grand Prix practice in the top 5. The McLaren driver still does not know what to expect for the rest of the weekend, but he does not hide his satisfaction after the successful circuit.

“I had the best time of my life” he joked. “It was a good day, I made good progress between FP1 and FP2, we changed things in the car. I don’t want to hope too much, we are still behind Alpine, not in the laps but in the long run.”

“It’s good, but we arrive this weekend and we won’t be as competitive as we were in Zandvoort or Hungary. It will be the same as it was in Spa, so we will continue to work to see what we can bring tomorrow. .”

If he hopes to improve his car, Norris does not know if he will be able to drive faster: “After the lap I did, yes, it was a good lap, qualifying battle. I don’t know if I can do better. We improved, and as I said, we often have good speed in qualifying, but often lose race speed and deteriorate.”

Norris does not expect to benefit much from the penalties that have been handed out to some drivers: “I don’t know if it will be easier to pass than last year, Max couldn’t pass Daniel, and Lewis couldn’t pass me.”

“But our frame is smaller than last year, so we will see. The cars that will start at the finish line are faster, Red Bulls, Ferraris and McLarens … especially the Red Bulls, in the small circuit they will be ahead of us.”

Ricciardo is ‘not as far away’ as he feared

Daniel Ricciardo is still confused by the ability of his machine last year, but the Australian rider wants to be more confident than he was before the weekend.

“Returning to this circuit a year later brought back great memories” Ricciardo said. “I’m more isolated in my thoughts, the morning session went well. In the afternoon we tried things and it wasn’t amazing, but we saw with Lando that they found a rhythm.”

“We have things to learn from them and that gives me hope for the future. We no longer have the same strength as last year in speed, and we miss him everywhere, but we are not as far as we feared.”

He hopes to get a chance due to penalties from other drivers, but also in the race with McLaren which sometimes has a good high speed.

“It’s funny, you can follow each other closely but be affected by turbulence, and the draft is not important. Some circuits are better to pass with these cars, some are not, but we will try to have good expectations. Qualifying to get a few chances.”