Lando Norris sets himself tough 2022 Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen challenge

McLaren’s Lando Norris says he’s “ready to beat” Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen next season after completing his most successful season in Formula One. The 22-year-old, who has recently moved to Monaco, will remain alongside McLaren in 2022 after a 2021 season which saw him pick up four podiums, a maiden pole, and come agonisingly close to a maiden win in Russia.

Yet in the latter part of the season, McLaren seemed to struggle, with Norris dropping away from Hamilton and Verstappen in the driver standings.

The Briton ended up finishing sixth in the standings, 4.5 points behind the Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jnr, with his highlight an impressive second-place finish at the Italian Grand Prix.

“The only thing it really gives you is confidence that, if you’re there more often or you have a better car, then there’s no reason why they should be able to beat you if you’re in the same car,” the McLaren driver explained.

“Every time I raced against Lewis or [Valtteri] Bottas, or Max or [Sergio] Perez, I think the only thing it really gives you is more confidence.

George Russell’s debut at Mercedes may be ‘easier’ than 2021

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

“That you know that, when you are more often in this position, whether it’s next year or in two years, then you feel ready to race against them all the time and ready to beat them.”

Yet, Norris says he’s brimming with confidence ahead of a mammoth season next year but admitted he may have to tweak his driving style to challenge the front-runners.

“They’re not just in better cars, but generally the guys who are in better cars are also going to be the more experienced or better drivers,” Norris said.

“So there’s a little bit more pressure because you know that they’ll think of every plan or strategy possible for how to get past you and so on.

Verstappen’s title win represents a worrying fact for Hamilton
F1 bosses fired stern warning over rule change based on Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton’s ‘miracle weapon’ questioned by Red Bull chief Marko

“That’s the only thing, is that you know that they will be thinking of every single thing possible in order to attack you and to race against you and overtake you.”

Earlier this week, one of Norris’ bosses, the executive racing director Andrea Stella, hailed the Briton as “one of the strongest drivers” in F1 but did admit there is still some work to do.

Speaking ahead of the new season, Stella said: “I think Lando, in his third year of Formula 1, has developed in terms of, first of all, pure speed.

“I am confident to say that in terms of pure speed, he is one of the strongest drivers on the grid and I think this is true in all conditions.

“It is enough to think some of the performances in the wet and also the pole position he scored in Russia was in transitional Tarmac conditions. In Q3 we shifted from intermediate to soft compound [tyres].”

The turn in McLaren’s form has put the team in good stead to hit the ground running in 2022, with Norris alongside Daniel Ricciardo once again.

Source: Read Full Article