McLaren more focused on Mercedes than midfield fight in 2021 - Norris

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McLaren's focus is on closing the gap to Mercedes rather than on where they finish in this year's midfield, Lando Norris says.

The British team has made huge gains in recent years, moving from fighting Williams at the back of the grid in 2018 to finishing third in the Constructors' standings last season after a tight duel with Racing Point.

That battle is set to continue with the rebranded Aston Martin team in 2021, while Ferrari and Alpine (formerly Renault), could also have a say in the fight for 'best of the rest'.

“I think if it’s anything to go by from last year, it’s going to be a bit of everyone,” Norris told Sky Sports on who he thought McLaren's main competition would be.

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“Even if you’re the fastest car there are races where you’re racing everyone on the grid, or you’re having to come through, or you have one poor qualifying and it can cost you getting into Q3 or several positions.

“It’s going to be close, I’m sure everyone’s working as hard as possible – every team – to try and make those small improvements, and they’ll have the same objective as what we do.

“We just hope that we can do a little bit better.”

Ultimately, however, McLaren may not be too bothered if they finished fourth or fifth so long as the gap to the front is reduced.

“We’re on a fightback, making good improvements, and we showed that last year more than ever,” Norris added.

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“I don’t think we can underestimate what we’ve been able to do in the past, and what we can hopefully do in the future.

“Racing Mercedes, that’s where our eyes are set at the minute. It’s what we’re working towards and what we’ve been closing in on over the last few years.

“But it takes a lot of hard work and time, that’s something continuing this year.”

Of course, now McLaren also has the added bonus of Mercedes power, after switching from Renault for 2021 and beyond.