McLaren boss Andreas Seidl believes it is “difficult to say” whether Lando Norris can retain third in the standings but labelled the suggestion “not unrealistic.”
Norris, in his third Formula 1 season, has been one of the standout drivers of the campaign, taking three podium finishes, and has only once failed to finish in the top five.
As a result, Norris holds third position in the Drivers’ Championship after the first 10 races, on 113 points.
However, he is only five clear of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez just a further four points in arrears.
“Whether it is a realistic target is difficult to say because the Red Bull car and the Mercedes car is clearly a better car,” said Seidl.
“Valtteri and Checo have shown some great races this year and also from the past, what they can do.
“So obviously down to the strong performance by Lando together with the team and the competitive car we have this year, we’ve managed after 10 races to be in P3 so it’s not unrealistic to stay there.
“Let’s see what we can do in the second half of the season plus we have to be honest as well, one time or another something goes wrong on the Red Bull side or the Mercedes side because we not in a position purely on performance to beat them.”
Seidl has nonetheless vowed that McLaren will not simply avoid battling with the front-runners if the situation arises.
“Of course we wake up in the morning because we want to win races, that is not possible at the moment, yet, down to our own fault so we try to do better races in terms of strategy, or in terms of staying out of trouble more than the others or luck from time to time,” he explained.
“And these all combined put us in the position we are in at the moment, again thanks to the great performances of the drivers and the team at the track and back home.”