Lando Norris believes McLaren will “100 per cent” be title contenders next season and predicts plenty more excitement for the rest of 2024, writes Scott Hunt from PA. 

The 24-year-old claimed his maiden Formula One victory at the Miami Grand Prix last weekend, capitalising on a safety-car period before pulling away from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to pick up his first win in his 110th grand prix.

It was McLaren’s first win in almost three years and was a further marker of the improvement at the British team.

Norris sits fourth in the drivers’ standings, 53 points adrift of three-time world champion Max Verstappen – while third-placed McLaren trail the dominant Red Bull by 115 points in the constructors’ battle.

When asked if they can contend for the title next season, Norris told Sky Sports F1: “100 per cent. I am saying that still with my feet on the ground. I want to believe that we have two great drivers. We have an amazing team behind us and we are closer than ever.

“As much as I said at the beginning of this year we can win races, I should have the confidence to say next year we can go for the next step.”

Norris, who extended his stay in Miami to toast his first win, was back at the McLaren Technology Centre on Thursday to share the success with the wider team.

He admits they remain short of Red Bull and Ferrari but is confident of more success this season.

“We still have work to do, we are not at the level they are just yet,” Norris added.

“On average we are not quite where we want to be. We still have our feet on the ground, we know we have more work to do. As soon as they’ve all had a little drink this morning I’m going to tell them to get back to work so we can keep fighting even more!

“If there is any race I want to have the same speed it is at Silverstone. We can win races this year, we can compete against Red Bull and we are looking at an exciting season between us, Red Bull and Ferrari.”