Lando Norris reveals why he is ‘annoyed and unhappy’ as he looks to challenge Max Verstappen at McLaren – but insists he is NOT scared of world champion

Lando Norris has admitted he is ‘annoyed and unhappy’ as he looks to push Max Verstappen for an unlikely world title challenge at McLaren.

Norris secured his first podium of the season at the Australian Grand Prix after taking the chequered flag in third but has endured a mixed campaign.

After finishing sixth and eighth in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively, Norris also missed out on the top three in Japan, having crossed the line in fifth.

He trails runaway leader Max Verstappen by 40 points as a result, dealing an early blow to his ambitions of pushing the world champion at the front of the grid.

Norris, who has not been afraid to question his own form, has resembled a frustrated figure in interviews but conceded that people may draw the wrong impression.

Lando Norris has admitted he is deeply self-critical as he looks to challenge for the F1 title

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Lando Norris has admitted he is deeply self-critical as he looks to challenge for the F1 title

Norris has fallen behind runaway leader Max Verstappen but continues to set lofty ambitions
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Norris has fallen behind runaway leader Max Verstappen but continues to set lofty ambitions

‘I am self-critical and I know it can look bad from the outside, absolutely,’ he told The Guardian. ‘I watch my own interviews and I look so annoyed and unhappy.

‘It’s because my mind is whirling, I’m thinking: “Why did I make a mistake? What happened if I did this or that? What if I had tried something else?”

‘But I set high goals for myself, I know what I am capable of, I want to try to achieve great things and I am not going to do that by being complacent.’

Norris, now in his sixth season in Formula One, is determined to continue pushing himself and is confident he can tussle with Verstappen for the title with McLaren.

He did, however, previously insist he did not want to be team-mates with the untouchable 26-year-old, prompting accusations that he was afraid of him.

Despite finishing on the podium just once this year, Norris says he can win a title at McLaren
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Despite finishing on the podium just once this year, Norris says he can win a title at McLaren

Norris has struggled to handle the pace of both Red Bulls and sits fifth in the drivers' standings
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Norris has struggled to handle the pace of both Red Bulls and sits fifth in the drivers’ standings

‘I believe I can achieve a championship at McLaren, that’s why I signed another contract,’ Norris added. ‘I absolutely think I can give him a good challenge.

‘But I also rate Max. For anyone it’s extremely difficult to go up against Max in his team and challenge him for a world championship.

‘He could have moved to Mercedes back in the day and gone up against Lewis [Hamilton] but would it have been a smart idea to have done that? Probably not and he probably wouldn’t be in a Red Bull now and it would be a different story.

‘I am not afraid in any way of Max, I’m excited to be against Max. People rate him as up with the best, so I would like to prove myself by going up against that.

‘I look forward to being able to battle him, but genuinely for position and not have him half a second a lap quicker and just drive past me.’

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