Lando Norris, McLaren, Belgian Grand Prix, Formula 1, Belgium 2020 Belgian Grand Prix Red Bull Honda Press Conference
Good to see you max, i feel we should start with you, belgium, grand prix in previous years. Lots of your fans lining this track, just how does it feel coming here? Knowing that they’re not going to be here yeah well, i mean, of course, it’s a shame that you know they’re not around the track because they really created a big atmosphere um but yeah. I mean i’m still, of course, very happy to be here, it’s my favorite track and uh it’s, a really cool track to drive a lot of fast corners, so um yeah we’re, going to make the best of it and i’m still, of course, very much looking forward To go out there you’ve said that this race might not suit your car. Can you just tell us why top speed a lot of long, straights and it’s difficult to balance anyway with downfalls around here, so yeah it’s never traditionally never been a great track for us, but nevertheless i enjoy coming here great stuff, thanks max alex coming to you. This race marks the anniversary of you joining red bull racing. How do you reflect on the last 12 months? Has it lived up to expectations? Uh yeah, i mean it’s been a it’s been a very good year. Obviously, i’ve enjoyed my time here. The uh i remember coming here the first time i felt a bit like a kid at his first day of school, a little bit nervous, but um, no it’s, uh, it’s gone well to say: it’s exceeded expectations or anything yeah.
I can’t really comment too much about it. Doesn’T yeah just wanting to do the best result. I can so uh yeah well on this topic. Uh john noble from motorsport.com has a follow up. He says alex. Do you feel you’re making progress in qualifying what’s needed for you to take the next step? Is it the car coming to you or you adapting more to the car uh? I say a bit of both of you. To be honest, i think there’s not one one area in particular, but of course um just trying to drive around or yeah drive with the car rather than trying to fight it, that’s that’s the main, the main feeling and it’s it is getting there. Obviously i i i want it to happen quicker and and um immediate, but things like that don’t happen overnight, so it’s it does take a bit of time and work um and yeah i’m sure it will come eventually. Thank you, uh max. Coming back to you. We have an email question from andrew benson at the bbc. He asks um red bull believed they could challenge mercedes for the title this year, but have started another year behind why’s that happened and how much has it affected your confidence that you’ll be able to win the championship with red bull honda? Well, why um it’s always difficult to say why i mean everybody is doing their very best so but yeah. Clearly they had a very good winter mercedes and they they also find a lot of performance out of their engines.
So yeah that meant we were a bit behind and yeah we uh we’re just trying to do the best we can. I mean everybody is of course, and yeah we’ll, see, of course, what the rest of the the season will bring, but yeah they are still. Of course, quite far ahead, but we don’t give up, i think, that’s the mentality of the team. We will always keep fighting and and go for every opportunity we have and um. I do believe in it um of course, for for next year as well. It might get a bit complicated because of course the rules are still the same: you’re not allowed to change a lot on on the cars, but then, of course, there are new rules coming in and it’s a new opportunity for everyone. Thanks max let’s go to the video conference now and to scott mitchell from the race. Please thank you, tom uh yeah question to question to max now. We’Ve had the first six races of the season. Uh, a range of circuits you’ve been on the podium at every race that you finished should have been on the podium in the first race as well. How do you reflect on the first six races of the season? How well do you think, you’re driving and how good a reflection of your performances is it that you’re splitting the two mercedes drivers in the championship? Well, i think looking at pure pace, they of course both of them them.
They should have been ahead of me in in the championship. Um, of course, valtryek won retirement. I had one retirement uh of retirement. He finished out of the points with a puncture, so no points, but of course that was unlucky for him and unlucky. For me, in the first race but yeah, i think overall, to be second in a few races where i think mercedes had more pace. I think yeah we definitely overachieved a bit and besides that, i think we always maximize what we could so um yeah i’m. Of course very happy with that, but um, i think, as a team and myself, of course we are not here to um, you know to be second or third, we want to fight for for the championship, but you also have to accept the situation we are in. That we are not really able to to to challenge. Yes, it looks like it on on paper, but if you look at the pure pace, we are too slow, um and yeah. We at the moment, of course, are relying on a bit of an off day for mercedes or a bit of luck to to win a race, so there’s still a lot of work to do well as a follow up to that. This is a question to both of you from john noble at motorsport.com. He says: does the tire choice this weekend? Give you any cause for optimism about challenging mercedes alex? Perhaps we could start with you yeah, i believe so i mean it’s.
I think the softer for us, the better um but it’s very hard to say it would most probably look a little bit more like silverstone as a layout of a circuit um but it’s. Not that obvious, so we’ll wait and see. The only thing i would say is obviously i don’t think we’re expecting that hot temperatures in a cloudy belgium. Well, you know, i think, um you know we kept saying. Ah we need heat, we need heat well, we definitely got beaten in the heat in barcelona. Maybe you know we could have done things better, but the gap like that uh, even with a bit of set at work, it’s, not gon na gon na change. You know so um. Maybe the ties will help. I don’t know um it’s, not gon na. Be warm enough, i think anyway, um uh, so yeah well it’s tricky, but like i’m. I always like to be realistic and i don’t like to tell fairy tales. You know so um. It will be hard, but i will try to, of course be on the podium. Thank you. Let’S go back to the video conference now and to christian nimavol, please from motorsport.com. Thank you, tom um, a question to max max alex has been thrown into cold water a little bit with only a couple of races. He did for toroso and then going to red bull with all the expectation that he’s there in a top team um.
Do you think that, in some situations, a more experienced teammate who has like i don’t know, 10 seasons under his belt could be more helpful in terms of development work with the car and set ups and anything? Well, i think it’s normal that as a drive. Of course i mean i can look at myself from my first year to now you get a better understanding of the car and you of course understand f1 a bit better, but from uh what i’ve seen so far. You know from alex as well. I think we are working really well together and and also pointing to directions with the car so um. Yes, probably if you uh, have a driver who’s ten years or four months. He knows more about format, it’s very normal, but from the feedback of alex. I think um, you know the team is also very happy, so that shows that you know the knowledge. Is there and it’s just now about just general experience in formula one, how you, you know, become a better driver, but i think in terms of feedback that is straight away there i mean undersea oversteer, i think uh it’s very easily explained, and i think also when We get new parts to to the car, i think both of us, we are showing, you know the same directions, so i think that is at the end of the day, the most important, if you would have had, if you would have two drivers telling different things – That is a problem thanks max.
Can we go next, please to the questions submitted by matthias bruner from speedweek matthias bruno speedweek.com. Max o’rouge has this reputation of being a truly daunting corner, but if i remember correctly, you had a even more impressive experience once when you did it. The other way around coming from radio into oroosh tell us how that felt. Yeah it was very weird um. I was not allowed to do the full lap because of the the limited time i had to do, the show runs so i had to turn around and it’s pretty scary. To honest, i mean the way we are driving it now with the cars we have it’s easy flat out, but yeah coming down. Also i mean everything is not it’s not made for it. You know the guardrails and everything. So you have to be a bit careful, but also because it’s like really blind, because you’re sitting so low in the car, because it goes up initially a little bit and then suddenly really drops so um yeah, very uh, very interesting but uh. I i enjoyed it because you never really get the chance to to do that. Thanks max let’s go to an email question next from evo, upton camper media house limbo to you again max, he says: frankel shaw is more or less your home race, but in terms of results it is not your happiest track. What are your best and worst memories of the belgian grand prix class memory is probably being on the podium, i guess it’s good yeah and the worst memories uh.
I don’t know the traffic jam to the track, probably yeah, because i know what they want. I know what they want me to say, but i’m not going to say it so traffic jam to the track. Okay, let’s, head back to the video conference now and to alex kalanaukas from autosport. Please thanks very much tom uh there’s, a question for alex. Please um alex you know how three races working with simon rennie as your new race engineer and getting to know him, and i just wondered: how has that process gone from your point of view and yeah? How is that relationship developing? Thank you, yeah um. Obviously, simon’s worked with daniel in the past and with numerous drivers before that it’s been going well. Simon, obviously has that experience, as as you could imagine, and no it’s everything’s kind of fallen in pretty smoothly. We already started working together on the simulator before actually um, on on the track and uh as well. We did a couple of tests um during last year, so it’s it’s been it’s been going well, thanks, alex we’ve got time for one more question and it’s we’re going to give it to julian bilot at autohebdo and it’s question to both of you. He says: do you expect the engine mode spanned from monza onwards, to change much in the pecking order in qualifying all the race max plus we can start with you um. Well, just looking from our perspective, i don’t think i will move forward, but hopefully a little bit closer and but the cap and coughing is still too big.
So a qualifying mode is not going to make the difference. Um yeah. I just hope that we can be a bit closer. Thank you yeah same as max. Well as a follow up max, he says uh. Where do you think honda stacks up against mercedes this year compared to last year, mercedes definitely pulled away a little bit. I think. Last year we were a bit closer and yeah over the winter.