Lando Norris has echoed the thoughts of his McLaren Formula 1 boss Zak Brown in believing the team will not be able to fight for titles until at least 2025.
McLaren have not tasted championship success since Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 Drivers’ crown. That title is the team’s only success in the 21st century, with the last Constructors’ title coming in 1998, although Mika Hakkinen did win the Drivers in ’99.
The Woking squad also only have one win since 2012 – courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo at Monza in 2021 – but are upgrading their infrastructure at the McLaren Technology Centre to compete with the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.
However, in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, boss Brown admitted that it would be 2025 before the team would be able to fully design a car in the upgraded wind-tunnel, with that being his expectation for when McLaren would be in title contention.
It is an assessment Norris agreed with.
Norris agrees with Brown’s verdict
Norris is set to enter his fifth season in F1 in 2023, and will assume responsibilities as McLaren team leader – being partnered by rookie Oscar Piastri – and is keen to take a first F1 victory.
“With everything I’ve learned, maybe I could win a race, but I’m unlikely to win a championship until [2024 or 2025],” he explained to GQ Magazine.
“I know I need to be at the absolute top of my game in those years [to be in title contention].”
Norris has a best result of second place – in the race won by Ricciardo – and a Pole Position at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, a race he could have won, but elected to stay out on dry tyres and was caught out by rain, slipping to seventh by the flag.
The British-Belgian racer also opened up about his battles with mental health, especially during his rookie and sophomore years of 2019 and 2020, believing he did not know how to cope with the pressure and expectation.
“It was a choice [to speak about mental health], because I struggled quite a bit with it in 2019 and 2020,” he added.
“I just didn’t know how to deal with it. I kept all of it inside and it really hurt my self-belief and self-confidence, which got to an all-time low.
“I doubted myself: ‘Am I good enough to be in Formula 1? Can I come back from this?’
“You’re never going to please everyone, there are people that support you and people that don’t. I know I am doing the best I can.”