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Lando Norris laments Ferrari’s dominance following the battle at the Japanese Grand Prix

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After a nail-biting race at the Japanese Grand Prix, Lando Norris conceded that McLaren was “fighting a losing battle” against their Italian rivals. Norris struggled with Ferrari’s unrelenting speed.

Beginning from a strong third place on the grid, Norris faced a tough struggle in the final laps as Carlos Sainz of Ferrari quickly caught up to him, while Charles Leclerc skillfully preserved his Scuderia’s lead with a well-executed one-stop strategy.

Ferrari’s competitive advantage became evident as McLaren’s race performance began to falter despite a solid start. After the race, Norris expressed his dissatisfaction to Sky F1, saying, “Just not enough, compared to the Ferraris.” These folks are just so much more capable than you that it seems like you are losing the war.”

The teenage driver spoke more about the tactical subtleties that transpired during the race, when his hopes of finishing on the podium were destroyed. It’s unfortunate. “Going backwards from third place doesn’t feel good,” Norris said. They are able to go farther and faster and have a larger tire delta. Fighting is difficult.”

Norris maintained his resolve in the face of the loss, stating that McLaren did their finest work in difficult conditions. “We got the maximum points apart from the top two teams, which was all we could do,” he said.

Over team radio during the race, Norris voiced his amazement when McLaren decided to pit early, a decision that appeared to be influenced by Mercedes’ George Russell. “Maybe a discussion, if we could have done a better job for P4 but it’s always difficult to make those decisions at the time, so tough,” Norris said in reflection on this choice.

Norris acknowledged Ferrari’s unwavering lead throughout the season and emphasized how difficult it is to compete against a team that has such a strong advantage. “There’s no denying Ferrari’s lead. They’ve had the upper hand all year. They’re still in the lead,” he said. “We’ve not changed anything all year so there’s no reason we should be ahead.”

Oscar Piastri, Norris’ teammate, had his own difficulties during the race but managed to finish ninth, ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Having finished the first four races of the season, Norris is now 40 points behind leader Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.

The Japanese Grand Prix demonstrated not just Ferrari’s tactical skill but also the ongoing challenge McLaren faces in trying to catch up to their Italian rivals. Looking back on the race, Norris sees that podium glory is still a difficult goal to achieve, with McLaren’s hopes of winning the title being severely hampered by Ferrari’s superiority.

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