A run of poor form for McLaren has seen it slip out of contention in the race for third in the constructors’ championship with Norris and Daniel Ricciardo scoring just four points between them in F1’s latest triple-header.

It was another case of bad luck for Norris in Qatar when McLaren called him in for a surprise pit stop on Lap 49.

The hard tyres he was running on were only 24 laps old when he suffered the unexpected puncture.

Norris was on course to finish fourth ahead of the two Ferraris, but instead, he finished ninth.

McLaren now trails Ferrari by 39.5 points with two rounds to go.

“The last few races we made some mistakes,” Norris said. “Today we did a better job than them. The car was pretty strong today. 

“We had a good car on race day. Even better than I expected. I was happy and I could push a lot. We should have been P4. If we got everything right maybe we could have challenged for P3, but with Fernando you do not expect an easy overtake if I tried. 

“We should’ve had a lot more points than Ferrari today. They are a long way ahead and further away now. They did that because they deserved it and they were there on performance. But when you have days like today there is nothing you can do.”

After a run of poor races, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl wants to end the season on a high, even if his squad misses out on third in the championship.

“So I think what’s left for us is making sure we do those last two races, keep fighting as for as long as it’s theoretically possible we will give it all for the constructors’ championship and we simply want to finish on a high and simply score some good results again going into the winter break,” Seidl added.