lando norris cannot beat verstappen because he is not a legend

Why Norris must change his mentality in order to beat Verstappen

24 June at 08:19
Last update 24 June at 09:40
  • Ludo van Denderen

"I should have won this one," said Lando Norris after the Spanish Grand Prix. Just like the Brit said after the Canadian Grand Prix when Max Verstappen also beat him by just a few seconds. Norris seems to have forgotten one thing. In sports, it's all about being perfect if you want to win and become a world champion. Perfect he hardly ever is, unlike his Dutch opponent.

Why were the absolute legends in Formula 1 so outstanding? Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Max Verstappen did not make mistakes at crucial moments. That sets them apart from the top performers, people like Lando Norris. The McLaren driver is proving he can compete at the front of the field this season in a strong McLaren. The fact that the tally stands at just one GP win, however, is no accident.

There is always something that messes up his race: From his stubbornness in continuing to drive on slicks in Russia 2021, to the poor start in Barcelona last weekend. This is precisely what makes Norris currently - and this must be emphasised - not yet the title contender and regular race winner he feels he thinks he is.

Norris needs to take a step in his development

The statement that Norris should have won the Spanish Grand Prix is without merit. After all, he didn't win it. Just as George Russell did not win, for example, and he could say: 'I was driving in the lead after Turn 1, I should have won'. But he didn't get first, for exactly the same reason as Norris. Just as every driver will have something that would have allowed him to get a better result. But - and it's a cliché - 'if' doesn't count in sport.

If Norris does eventually want to structurally beat Max Verstappen, he absolutely has to take the next step in his development, otherwise, the Brit is going to become the eternal number two, the Jean Alesi of his time. So, no more letting himself be cheated at the start or getting stuck behind George Russell, someone Verstappen managed to pass quickly. That is the difference between a winner and a driver who just doesn't get it and afterwards thinks: 'I should have won here'.

Incidentally, "the defeat" in Spain should certainly not be attributed entirely to Norris. While it is true that McLaren gave the Briton the fastest car in the field, at the pit stop and in terms of strategy, the English team didn't run free. On the other hand; Red Bull did not give Max Verstappen the best car, but the Dutchman still won. After all, he was faultless, again. Let that be a wise lesson for Lando Norris.