Norris banking on 'clean race' to defeat Alpine pair


Lando Norris says a clean start and a trouble-free race should give McLaren a good chance of defeating its Alpine rivals in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.

Norris qualified P8 after Saturday's shootout at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, just ahead of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.

McLaren is still eleven points behind Alpine in the Constructors' standings with three races to go, but the Woking-based outfit isn't giving up on its hopes of overhauling the Enstone outfit and seizing fourth place in the championship.

"I’m very happy, it was a good day today and I'm pleased with P8," said Norris.

"I did a very good lap in Q3 to put us ahead of both the Alpines, which is the best we could do in the conditions.

"We're too far off the teams ahead, but that’s usual, so I’m happy because we’ve given ourselves a good chance going into tomorrow’s race."

Norris said that his priority at the start will be to steer clear of trouble during the long run down to the first corner.

"It’s a long run down to Turn One, many things can happen," he said.

"We’ll switch our concentration to the race and focus on having a clean start, getting away, getting our heads down and having a clean race from then on."

Daniel Ricciardo qualified just outside the top ten after his final push in Q2 was compromised by traffic on his out-lap. But the Aussie said that his outlook for race day remains "encouraging".

"I think it was certainly promising in some areas and we had decent pace," he said.


"The first run in Q2 was decent. There were a few places to improve – a couple of corners in the middle sector - but I felt like it was definitely achievable.

"On the second run, though, we just came out in loads of traffic and the out-lap was compromised: it was just too slow and so the brakes weren’t in and tyres weren’t in.

"I think things still look encouraging for tomorrow. We should have some pace, but I would have loved to have shown a bit more and got into Q3 today."

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