Lando Norris acknowledged that he is still not fully fit behind the wheel of his McLaren, but he has shown he is not a “passenger” anymore.
Norris pulled off an impressive drive to make his way into the points in Spain last weekend, despite being unable to speak to his engineer over team radio, having to communicate via the steering wheel at the end of the race, while suffering from tonsillitis.
He said ahead of the Monaco weekend that he has hardly slept since the Spanish GP, but has been able to shake off the majority of his symptoms – and is feeling that he is able to keep “on top of things” while driving, which is a marked difference to how the McLaren driver felt in Barcelona.
“I know I’m not 100% now,” he told reporters, quoted by Motorsport.com. “You can probably tell by how red my face is, there’s a few things I’m still struggling with.
A mega effort from @LandoNorris to get in the top five on the grid, despite having not fully shaken off his illness from last weekend 👏#MonacoGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/FCONIIxJWO
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) May 28, 2022
“But it’s much better, I’m more confident that when I get in the car, I’m on top of things, rather than being almost a passenger.
“But this is tough, because I know especially here in Monaco, you need to be on top of everything. And it’s where you want to be physically 100%.
“I know I’m quite a way off that still, even though I feel like I can do a good job. When I say I’m way off, I mean it can be a tenth, a tenth and a half.
“But if I talk today about a tenth and a half, and a couple of little mistakes that I made, then there’s a chance that I could have been higher, kind of thing.”
But Norris still took an impressive fifth place in qualifying in Monaco on Saturday, putting himself as ‘best of the rest’ behind the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo knocked out in Q2.
Norris added that, with that time he feels he left out there on the track, he could have been even more in the mix at the front.
“So I think there’s good confidence from within that if things are perfect things could have been even better today,” he said. “But nevertheless, I’m just very happy with where I am, P5 is still a good result for us.
“P5 I’m happy with, my laps I was happy with, just some small mistakes here and there, which just let me down. But I want to put that more down to just my awareness and a couple of things that I’m still struggling with.”
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