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Lando Norris: “Red Bull is not as fast as it used to be”

In Monaco, Red Bull recorded its worst result since Bahrain 2022 – McLaren driver Lando Norris assesses the current balance of power

Since 2021, victory at the Monaco Grand Prix has always gone to a Red Bull driver. But that changed last Sunday when Charles Leclerc won his home race from pole position. Max Verstappen finished sixth, Sergio Perez crashed shortly after the start and came away empty-handed

It was the worst result for Red Bull since Bahrain 2022 and cost important points in both overall standings. A sign of things to come or just another one-off outlier? “I don’t think they’re really struggling that much,” says McLaren rival Lando Norris about the situation.

“They didn’t win, yes. But it was two tenths or something, two and a half tenths behind the pole. So it’s not that he had a bad weekend,” he comments on Verstappen’s performance. “It’s just that Ferrari were very quick and we were in between, as we have been in the last two races.”

“Maybe they just didn’t have the best weekend again,” Norris speculates, pointing to the upgrades made by the competition. “We have introduced innovations and improved the car over the last few weekends. And it shows that they are not as far ahead as they thought, but they are not struggling either.”

Red Bull’s lead had simply shrunk because the others had closed the gap: “People are closer. We’re faster and Ferrari is faster and they’re just not as fast as they used to be,” said Norris.

Podium without Red Bull is “great “

The fact that there was no driver from the reigning world champion team on the podium in Monaco is something he describes as “great”. “I mean, it’s amazing to see a podium without Red Bull. As bad as it might be to say that, it’s also great for the spectators and it shows other drivers that there is a chance.”

It is also “exciting for the championship”. Because his direct pursuers, above all Leclerc, were able to make up points on Verstappen. The latter’s lead is 31 points. “So maybe we can catch up bit by bit,” says Norris.

“But at the same time, we have two Ferraris that we have to try to beat consistently, and we still have a long way to go. But we are on the right track. We are making good steps forward.” Oscar Piastri finished second in Monaco, while Norris was fourth behind Carlos Sainz

Norris knows: Red Bull makes few mistakes

“I’m perhaps not quite so happy with fourth place,” admits the Miami winner, “but it’s still a good haul of points. And it’s still a good result for us. If we keep going like this, we definitely have the chance to catch them in the future.”

However, he added, it is rare that they make mistakes. “At the same time, I think Red Bull is the most reliable car on the grid. They are the team that generally makes the fewest mistakes. And if there’s anyone you would never count out or bet against, it’s Max.”

Nevertheless, Norris hopes and believes that things will get even tighter: “We’ll keep pushing. We will continue our work because we are doing a very good job. And I’m proud and happy with what the team is doing at the moment. “

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