Lando Norris says McLaren was able to beat its midfield rivals in Bahrain by “maximising everything” and “doing a better job” despite having a slower overall package.

Norris charged to a sixth-place finish in Bahrain two weeks ago to record McLaren’s first points of the season and his first in Fomrula 1, coming on only his second start.

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The race saw Norris fight past a number of cars from midfield teams including Renault, Haas and Alfa Romeo, putting McLaren as the ‘best of the rest’ behind the leading trio of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

While Norris remained coy on where McLaren stands in the pecking order heading into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, he said that it did not have the fastest car in the midfield, but had done a better job to beat the others around it.

“I think overall it’s probably too early to tell [the pecking order]. I think we can say at least we’re in a decent position,” Norris said.

“I probably wouldn’t say we’re the best of the midfield teams. I think we’ve done a better job as a team compared to the others, but I don’t think we have the best package.

“I think there’s a lot of work to do to be able to race Red Bull in every race weekend, or to clear the midfield group and be inbetween Red Bull and Haas and Renault.

“I think that’s how we’ve managed to get the points and get into Q3, just by maximising everything.

“I think we’ve got definitely to do a bit of work to make sure we’re confident all of the time to get into Q3, always confident in beating the rest of the midfield teams.

“I think we’ve got a bit of a way to go before we can be like that, we can be in a Red Bull position.

“Overall, the car is not bad.”

Additional reporting by Michael Lamonato.



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