F1 Analyst: Lando Norris Will Be Able to Compete Shoulder to Shoulder with Verstappen

“He’s got incredible ability. He’s great in the rain, brilliant at reading the grand prix, he kept the team calm under the Safety Car conditions."

by Sead Dedovic
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F1 Analyst: Lando Norris Will Be Able to Compete Shoulder to Shoulder with Verstappen
© Chris Graythen/Getty Images Sport

Lando Norris has impressed many with his performance in Miami, hinting at great things in his career. The British driver's first career victory potentially signals significant achievements in the future. For seasons, there has been anticipation for this young driver to clinch a win, and his dream became a reality in the last race. 

Many are asking: Does this signify the beginning of something new and better, with some even going so far as to believe that Norris could become Verstappen's main rival in the upcoming period? Anthony Davidson, an F1 analyst, is one of those impressed by the young Briton's performances, expecting great things from him. When asked by a colleague if Norris is able to compete on equal terms with the best drivers in F1, Davidson had a clear answer.

"Yes. In one word, yes."- Davidson said, as quoted by Crash.

Davidson emphasized the abilities of Norris, which were especially visible in the last race. The maturity that Lando showed in Miami amazed many. Although Norris has been part of the F1 scene for four years, it's noticeable how much he has matured and continues to mature from race to race. The experience of competing on the big stage certainly helps.

“He’s got incredible ability. He’s great in the rain, brilliant at reading the grand prix, he kept the team calm under the Safety Car conditions."

Anthony Davidson (2010)
Anthony Davidson (2010)© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport
 

Norris made the best decision for his team, demonstrating that he is ready to take responsibility and help the team in their quest for the top. Davidson reacted on Norris's statements, impressed by the courage and readiness Norris has shown.

“He didn’t want to pit immediately. He knew it would be a long yellow flag period. They waited a lap to bring him in, to ensure he’d come out with a healthy lead.

They didn’t bring him in too early on his orders in many ways. He said: ‘The car feels good, I’m happy here, we’re on the right tyre and the right time, I can go longer to offset ourselves against Red Bull and Verstappen’.”- he continued.

Davidson elaborated on the recent developments in Formula 1, highlighting McLaren's huge upgrades and their aim to close the gap with Red Bull. He mentioned Red Bull's early introduction of upgrades in China, which led to a leveling out of advancements between McLaren and Red Bull in subsequent races. 

Davidson emphasized McLaren's comprehensive upgrades, including rear wings, floor, and front wing, showcasing their detailed car development focused on achieving aerodynamic efficiency.

McLaren is a team with a clear philosophy, progressing from season to season. Every individual within this team gives their utmost, evident in their performances this season. McLaren aims to become a contender for the championship, and when you have a driver like Norris, you certainly have reason to be optimistic about your future.

Davidson pointed out that McLaren's performance aligns well with their simulations and testing at their headquarters, which is crucial for narrowing the performance gap with Red Bull. 

Red Bull seems unstoppable this season, and some believe that stopping this team will be an impossible task. However, no one should be written off at this point, as the race in Miami showed that there are teams capable of surprising. What the story will be in the upcoming seasons remains to be seen.

However, he cautioned against overreacting to one race, emphasizing the importance of assessing performance on various circuits to truly understand the cars' capabilities.

Imola will be a race where Norris will strive to once again show his best, but whether that will be possible remains to be seen.

Davidson on Red Bull's comeback and the Imola race

Davidson warned of the possibility of Red Bull making a strong comeback in the next race, reminiscent of past examples where they bounced back after a disappointing race.

The last race was certainly an important lesson for Red Bull to work on certain aspects that didn't perform well in the previous race. The Austrian team, of course, should not be written off, considering they have only missed out on victory in two races this season. Max Verstappen remains the main favorite for winning the championship, a fact acknowledged by all.

If Red Bull were to miss out on victory in this race as well, then one could start talking about this season being less unpredictable. The current situation doesn't provide much optimism that anyone can dethrone Verstappen.

There are still many races left in the season, so final conclusions shouldn't be drawn yet. We look forward to an exciting season with races where we will see changes in the standings.

Lando Norris
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