Lando Norris believes it’s now unlikely that McLaren will secure a Formula 1 win before the end of 2023 despite classifying second in the United States Grand Prix.

Norris celebrated his 100th race in the top flight by notching a fourth consecutive F1 podium finish, elevating him up to sixth position in the Drivers’ Championship.

Before the weekend, Norris had downplayed McLaren’s prospects at the Circuit of the Americas, insisting the previous high-speed circuits had flattered the team’s standing.

However, the Briton wound up second in qualifying and led 27 laps of the race before eventually succumbing to Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton to come home third.

Norris, who was promoted to second after Hamilton’s disqualification, outlined the Qatar event represented his last opportunity of 2023 to score his maiden F1 victory.

“Do I think our best chances have gone? I would say yes,” Norris conceded. “I think Qatar was our best chance of winning a race. And I missed out on that one.

“I don’t want to say no, I don’t say like never. I think there’s no super high-speed, Suzuka-style, Qatar-style circuits left which is where we’re strong.”

“I don’t think they’re any good ones [tracks] for us coming up. I think our best have gone.

“I just want to be hopeful that we can do good results and I think we can still fight for podiums but these guys are too quick for me.”

(L to R): Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 battle for position. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day.

Assessing the remaining four rounds on the calendar, Norris concedes that he’s “not looking forward to Brazil” and believes the final two venues will suit McLaren more.

Norris repeatedly issued throughout the Austin weekend that McLaren’s MCL60 car continues to lag behind its main rivals through the slow-speed sections of the lap.

“If you looked at the GPS overlays of how bad we are in the slow speed [corners], I’m not looking forward to Brazil,” he declared.

“I think we’re going to be pretty shocking there. Vegas and Abu Dhabi are probably the better ones.”

A minor lock-up into the downhill left-handed Turn 11 hairpin on Lap 25 contributed to Verstappen edging closer to Norris, passing the McLaren driver only two laps later.

McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella has echoed Norris’ comments on the side’s slow-speed performance, admitting that it’s a problem area that can’t be solved this year.

“Braking into Turn 11 and then traction out of Turn 11 was the most problematic phase from a car performance point of view,” Stella pointed out.

“It was no surprise, it is to do with bumps and with braking and traction in two very low-speed corners, where we said already that we know the car doesn’t perform very well.

“It has been addressed in development but there is no turnaround in this season to fix this.”

Although team-mate Oscar Piastri retired with a water leak after opening lap contact with Esteban Ocon, Norris’ second-place saw McLaren still overtake Aston Martin for fourth place in the Constructors’ standings.

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