Lando Norris believes the transition periods Ferrari and Mercedes are undergoing demonstrate how difficult it is to achieve success in Formula 1 amid McLaren’s troubles.
Mercedes slipped from winning eight consecutive Championships to only achieving a solitary win upon the reset to the regulations last year and have also started 2023 on the back foot.
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s protracted title drought stretching back to 2008 looks set to continue into another year following a sluggish opening to the new campaign.
Despite getting off the mark with a double points score in Australia, McLaren has similarly endured a wretched start to 2023 after openly admitting that it missed its development targets with its MCL60 car.
When asked whether it helps to acknowledge that two of F1’s most successful outfits are also encountering a blip Norris responded: “A little bit – I don’t think it necessarily changes much from my position.”
“But I think it should change people’s perception from the outside that it’s not an easy job to do what they’re doing. Otherwise everyone would be doing it.
“And it’s not an easy job for a team like Mercedes who has won the past however many years. It had one of the most dominant cars ever in F1 and now they’re possibly the fourth best team on the grid, getting beaten by a customer team.
“I think that’s shown how difficult and how complicated it is to get it right.
“It also shows it’s not just us who is in this position. But then when you see a jump that Aston has made, it obviously gives you hope that people are able to do those jumps.”
While McLaren sat top of the midfield in consecutive years between 2019-20, the British outfit failed to build on that promise by closing the gap to the established front-running sides.
Aston Martin, however, has emerged as a frequent contender for podiums in 2023 after languishing in seventh place the previous two seasons.
Following its subpar beginning to the year McLaren has already rung the changes in the technical department.
Ex-technical director James Key has departed as part of an organisation shakeup that will see a different structure enforced, with three senior figures reporting to team boss Andrea Stella.
Norris is hopeful that the changes made – along with a new wind tunnel coming online later this year – can enable McLaren to make similar strides to Aston Martin in the coming years.
But the Brit has again reinforced how Mercedes’ plight exhibits how McLaren is not the only team that is sustaining a troubled period.
“I guess, yeah, with certain people coming in and so on from different teams and whatever you can take on board from them to help you move forward, I look forward to those things,” he added.
“It doesn’t change the way I think, I just hope it changes the way people think on the outside that it’s not just McLaren who is struggling, but it’s clear that Mercedes hasn’t done the job it should’ve done or what people expected from them.
“They’re a team that has been dominant over the last 10 years. It shows that it’s tough but at the same time you just do the best job with what you’ve got.”