Montreal might be difficult for McLaren, says Norris

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Following a string of impressive results in recent races, McLaren might find it tough to replicate its competitiveness from the recent rounds, claims Lando Norris.

Lando Norris finished second in Round 5 in China before securing his first career victory in Miami. The Briton then went on to challenge Max Verstappen for the win in Imola, finishing only seven tenths of a second behind the Dutchman.

The last race in Monaco saw Norris slightly struggle for outright pace in qualifying compared to his team-mate Oscar Piastri, but he still secured an impressive fourth place in the Principality.

“Canada is up next! I enjoy racing in Montréal. It’s a fun track with some challenging sections that make it more exciting. Our car has performed well at a few different types of circuits, but we know we might have our work cut out in Canada. Our competitors are likely to be strong here. 

“It was nice to have a week off after the Imola-Monaco double header. We walked away with two podiums, and a lot of points for the team. I’ve had productive sessions with my engineers back in the MTC, and now I’m excited to see what we can do this weekend," added the Briton.

His team-mate Oscar Piastri reflected on the Monaco Grand Prix weekend that saw him secure his podium finish of the season.

“Monaco was special. I felt it on all three days and getting a podium in Senna colours around those streets was sensational. As a young boy back in Australia, Monaco was one that I would dream about, so it’s nice to collect some silverware from one of the classics. 

“I’ve been happy with where my driving is at the moment, especially the consistency that I’ve shown across the last three events. Progress is never linear but I’m enjoying showing what I can do and driving this car, which the team have done such a strong job with. 

“Hopefully, in Canada, we can pick up where we left off because it’s so tight at the sharp end of the grid, and we want more.”

Team boss Andrea Stella shares Norris' views, claiming that the Montreal circuit might see McLaren lose its current competitiveness given the way the team has performed in recent years. However, he suggested that the picture might alter from previous years as the team's MCL38 has shown an improved performance in every area compared to its predecessor.

“We are pleased to have returned to the factory from the double header with two P2 trophies. Both Lando and Oscar’s strong finishes enabled us to continue securing a stronghold in our Constructors’ Championship position. However, we are still towards the start of the season, so we have to work hard to ensure these results keep coming.

“The Circuit Gilles Villenueve is a driver and fan favourite, and one that poses a few new challenges when compared to circuits we’ve raced at so far this year. We go into this year’s Canadian Grand Prix more optimistic than last year’s, but with the understanding that we still face a tough battle to be competitive here.

"Our aim is to build a car that can be consistently competitive at all types of circuit, and the team are working hard to unlock that performance," concluded Stella.