Lando Norris explains where Lewis Hamilton has ‘one of the best cars on the grid’

F1: Lando Norris says he didn’t think he’d make podium

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Lando Norris has offered words of encouragement for Mercedes despite their terrible start to the F1 season. In fact the McLaren star, who himself has endured a mixed time adapting to brand new F1 regulations, thinks the Silver Arrows are leading the way thus far in 2022 in one particular aspect.

The stats say otherwise. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton in particular has endured a difficult start, failing to reach the final session of qualifying in both Saudi Arabia and Emilia Romagna. After five races, he’s managed just 36 points, and lies in sixth place.

New teammate George Russell has fared better, managing a top five finish in every event so far. He’s fourth in the standings on 59 points, but despite a podium place in Australia, is yet to seriously challenge for a race win.

Much of the problems of the constructors’ champions has been attributed to ‘porpoising’, which has affected their straight-line speed. However, there were signs of increased pace in Miami last weekend, especially in early practice.

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Asked by if he was surprised that Mercedes had out-performed his own team in America, Norris answered: “I wouldn’t say surprised. This track has a lot of slow-speed corners, and Mercedes have been one of the best cars on the grid in slow-speed since day one.

“I guess they just figured out a bit more this weekend and maximised their car’s potential a bit more, so I’m not surprised. It’s been the same in Formula 1 for years; some weekends, your car suits one track and the other time it suits another car.”

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Indeed, Norris and co will be hoping for an improved display at the the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 22. Prior to the campaign, the rising star penned a lucrative new deal at McLaren, tying him up until 2025. 

Upon signing his new contract, he stated his ambition to start challenging for the world title. That notion already seems impossible in 2022, with Norris a point behind the esteemed Hamilton in seventh place.

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