Red Bull will be on home soil at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, but Lando Norris is positive about his chances of putting more pressure on world champion Max Verstappen.

Norris has managed six podium finishes and one race victory this season, his maiden F1 win coming in Miami last month.

With 150 points, the McLaren driver now sits second in the drivers' championship standings for the first time in his career, 69 points back of Verstappen.

While Verstappen approaches this weekend – which features the third sprint race of the year – with back-to-back victories in Canada and Spain under his belt, Norris believes McLaren have every chance of pushing him close again.

"We're on a roll and we're doing well," Norris said this week. "I need to tidy up a few little bits and pieces and we'll be on top. I am confident.

"Every weekend we go into now, the car is performing extremely well and we're always there, or thereabouts, within a couple of tenths."

Five of the last six races have seen Verstappen and Norris finish in the top two positions, and the McLaren driver has 10 runner-up finishes since the team introduced transformative upgrades to their car at last year's edition of the Austrian Grand Prix.

With Red Bull heading home after seeing their huge lead over their rivals chipped away in recent weeks, Verstappen expects plenty of thrills and spills.

"It is another sprint race this weekend, which always ends up being a hectic and busy weekend for us," Verstappen said.

"It is really important to nail the set-up of the car straight away and analyse how best we build and improve on our previous races, especially as qualifying is always close here.

"The track lends itself to a lot of overtaking so I'm sure it will be an exciting race.

"The team performed well here last year so hopefully, we can do the fans proud this weekend and bring it home with another win."

This weekend's sprint will be the 15th since the format's introduction, and no driver has more wins (nine), pole positions (seven), fastest laps (seven), podium finishes (13) or points (89) in the sprints than Verstappen.

The Dutchman's four wins in the main race in Spielberg are also an F1 record.


Lando Norris – McLaren

After two years of near-total dominance, Verstappen finally has a consistent challenger in Norris, who has finished inside the top four at each of his last six races, as many as in his previous 15.

He has already led for a career-high 58 total laps throughout the 2024 season, while his next podium finish will see him match John Watson and go joint-13th in the all-time charts for British drivers, with 20.

Verstappen has not been on pole for any of the last three races, with Norris unable to capitalise when starting at the front of the grid in Barcelona last week. He will be desperate to go one better here.

Sergio Perez – Red Bull

While Verstappen's latest battle with Norris will capture the headlines, Red Bull's home race is also a big one for the Dutchman's team-mate Perez, who is enduring a difficult year.

Perez has finished outside the top five at each of his last four races (two eighth-place places and two retirements). He could find himself outside the top five on five straight outings for the first time since 2021, when he had a miserable five-race run between races in Austria and the Netherlands.

The Mexican, who got a two-year contract extension from the team earlier this month after much speculation regarding his future, needs to be far more consistent, starting here.

With Ferrari 60 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' championship standings and eating away at that advantage, Christian Horner will be desperate to see Verstappen get some support.



1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 219 points
2. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 150
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 148
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 116
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 111


1. Red Bull – 330
2. Ferrari – 270
3. McLaren – 237
4. Mercedes – 151
5. Aston Martin – 58