McLaren F1’s CEO Zak Brown has compared Lando Norris to seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton for how calm the young Briton remains in the cockpit and how he sticks to his pre-race plan regardless of what happens out on track. Norris enters his fourth season as a Formula One driver in 2022 having made clear progress in both of his last two years since his rookie campaign.
The 22-year-old racked up four podiums for McLaren last year including a career-high second at the Italian Grand Prix, when he earned a one-two alongside team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at Monza. He ended sixth in the Drivers’ Championship having just been pipped to fifth by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, his McLaren team-mate in 2019 and 2020.
Norris enters 2022 looking for a first ever race win and has been talked up highly by McLaren boss Brown, who even compared him to the iconic Hamilton. The Mercedes driver has won a joint-record seven world titles and narrowly missed out on an eighth last season, that would have taken him beyond the great Michael Schumacher.
And Brown believes Norris, who has had very few crashes in F1, is level-headed at the wheel just as the vastly-experienced Hamilton, 37, is for constructors’ champions Mercedes.
MUST READ: Lando Norris on what it’s like to race Lewis Hamilton
McLaren harbour hopes of competing with Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari for podiums and race wins and Norris insists he’s ready to start strong at the season opener in Bahrain this weekend. He said: “I’m really looking forward to the close racing and exciting battles that the new regulations will bring.
“I’m not sure what the order will be but it’s going to be a close fight heading into the first qualifying session of the year and across the entire season. I can’t wait for the challenge ahead. I’m excited and prepared to be entering my fourth season in Formula One with the team. I’m looking forward to building on the progress we’ve made together over the years and I’m ready to hit the ground running.
“The tests in Barcelona and Bahrain have taught us a lot about the car but there’s still more for us to understand and work on. I want to thank every person in the team for their hard work and dedication in building the MCL36 so we can go racing this season. Hopefully we can have a strong start to the year.”