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Despite 5 Winless Seasons With McLaren, Lando Norris Is Confident of Winning Title With the Team – “I’m Not Afraid of Max”

Vidit Dhawan

Despite 5 Winless Seasons With McLaren, Lando Norris Is Confident of Winning Title With the Team - “I’m Not Afraid of Max”

Lando Norris recently achieved an unwanted record of finishing on the podium the most number of times (14) without winning an F1 race. Despite never having won a Grand Prix in his five seasons so far with McLaren, the Briton has not lost hope. The 24-year-old is adamant that he can still achieve everything with McLaren and take on Max Verstappen, the sport’s most dominant driver over the last few years.

As quoted by Formula Passion, Norris said, “I believe I can win the world championship at McLaren, that’s why I signed a new contract. I absolutely think I can face Max and give him a good challenge.” 

Before Norris signed his contract extension with McLaren, he was linked to Red Bull. Rumors, however, suggested that he rejected the Milton-Keynes-based outfit because he was afraid of going up against Verstappen. To this, the Bristol-born driver insisted, “I’m not afraid of Max in any way“.

Norris’ hesitation to fight Verstappen at the moment stems from the fact that the Dutchman is almost “half a second” faster, and can easily breeze past him in a race. He is driving the fastest car at the moment – the RB20 – whereas Norris, as per early data, seems to be driving the third-fastest car.

Although Norris wants to take on Red Bull and is confident of dethroning them, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella is focusing on Ferrari first. Ferrari is the team closest to Red Bull and has already won a race this year, thanks to Carlos Sainz’s performance in Melbourne. Stella is hopeful that once McLaren reaches Ferrari’s level, Norris can compete for race wins.

Andrea Stella believes winning races is “within the numbers” for McLaren

Andrea Stella recently appeared in an episode of the F1 Nation podcast, where he explained how he is confident that McLaren can reach Ferrari’s level soon. He also feels that, by taking the right step towards developing their car, they can compete for race wins in the near future.

If we deliver the same kind of developments we delivered last race [Melbourne] then why not think about winning races this year? I don’t want to look arrogant. But I think this is within the numbers,” he explained.

Development-wise, McLaren has shown it can make big strides. In 2023, the team started the season on a disastrous note, struggling to score points in the first half. By the end of that campaign, McLaren became one of the fastest on the grid.

Their performance improvement was backed by results as Lando Norris registered seven podiums. Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri in his rookie season also managed two podiums and a Sprint Race win.

Considering that Norris has already managed a P3 finish after the first four races this year, he could very well be in a position to win races if McLaren manages to make progress like Stella predicts.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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