In the opening race last week McLaren driver Lando Norris took a podium place, but last weekend's race...
Alexander Albon may have won the prize for 'Rookie of the year', but the debut year of Lando Norris has been at least as impressive in the McLaren. The Briton has proved to be terribly fast over one lap, but will have to take the next step in the races to get close to Carlos Sainz in 2020.
In 2013 the then still very young Brit knew how to attract attention. In one year, several victories in the karting championships will be credited to Norris and one year later he can also call himself World Champion in karting. Norris also wins the transition to MSA Formula (where Formula 4 cars are raced), after which the series of top results continues.
2016 is another successful year for the young Briton, taking titles in the European Formula Renault Championship, the Northern European edition and the Toyota Racing Series. That same season Norris will also take place in Formula 3 for the first time, but as a part-timer in that class, great results continued to go his way.
With almost all possible titles in its pocket, Norris will focused entirely on Formula 3 in 2017 and would also be included in McLaren's talent program. That season, Norris won the title in Formula 3 and the Briton would be allowed to drive the last two races of the Formula 2 season. No points will be taken there, but in the next season the junior of McLaren would show what he's made of.
In the first race of the season Norris is directly on the top step of the podium, but knows that the competition in the 2018 season is fierce. George Russell and Alexander Albon are growing more throughout the year and are regularly on the podium, just like Norris. In the second half of the season Norris will not come close to his previous performance and the Briton will descend to P2. Fellow countryman (and Mercedes-junior) George Russell takes off with the title.
Norris, despite missing the title, gets the chance at McLaren alongside Carlos Sainz. The duo provides a breath of fresh air for the team that, under the leadership of Andreas Seidl, suddenly manages to find its way up. Norris proves his talent over one lap, but loses it to his more experienced teammate based on the points.
Lando Norris in 2020
McLaren took an important step in 2019, but the gap to the top is huge. Renault have already choked on it and McLaren won't think lightly about that jump. The foundation seems to be laid for a bright future.
The same goes for Norris, who in his first year has proven himself to be a great talent in Formula 1. At 20 years of age he still has a lot to learn, but he gets the chance to do so. Norris will have to be ready when McLaren really starts winning again, which could be the case in 2021.
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