Red Bull 'beatable' in 2024 says McLaren’s Lando Norris

File picture: Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto via AFP.

File picture: Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto via AFP.

Published Feb 15, 2024


Lando Norris believes he can take McLaren to a Formula One world championship after declaring that Max Verstappen and Red Bull are "beatable" in 2024.

McLaren emerged as the surprise closest contender to Red Bull last year following an impressive mid-season turnaround with Norris scoring seven podiums.

The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to Red Bull or Mercedes, following Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari for the 2025 season.

But Norris committed his future to McLaren by signing a new contract last month that is set to keep him at the British team for at least another three seasons.

Red Bull were dominant in 2023, winning 21 of the 22 Grands Prix, with three-time world champion Verstappen taking the chequered flag 19 times.

Speaking at McLaren's 2024 car launch on Wednesday, Norris said: "If you were to ask, 'are Red Bull beatable?' I am going to have to say 'yes'.

"We have to believe that because we were very close at times last year and at certain times we did beat them.

"Can we beat them over a season? That is going to be a challenge and very difficult to do because of how well they performed, but I am optimistic."

Norris will be joined by Oscar Piastri, who impressed in his debut campaign last season, in the MCL38.

Despite Norris's optimism, McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said he was remaining "realistic" over what they can achieve this season.

F1's sole pre-season test gets under way in Bahrain on February 21, ahead of the opening race, also in the Gulf kingdom, on March 2.

"The fantastic thing about this sport is how competitive it is, and therefore we must remain realistic," said Brown.

"The true test of whether we've made steps in the right direction will be qualifying in Bahrain.

"We're all excited to go racing again, but we know there's a long season ahead of us and a lot of work still to do to ensure we build on the progress we made throughout 2023."

Agence France-Presse