Lando Norris may regret brutal Lewis Hamilton comments as McLaren star plays catch up

Lando Norris, a driver for McLaren, is discovering firsthand that the seven-time Formula 1 world champion hasn’t always paid his dues as a driver after finishing near the top of the standings.

After Lewis Hamilton’s thrilling victory at the British Grand Prix, Lando Norris might be regretting his remarks.

Hamilton won his first race since 2021 at Silverstone on Sunday in spectacular fashion, despite the retirement of his partner George Russell and Mercedes’s continued struggle with a less competitive car. Not long after, the seven-time world champion celebrated a new season high by finishing first in his home Grand Prix, although it was his first podium finish of 2024.

The victory casts doubt on the notion that F1 success depends only on the vehicles and the driver with the best technology at any given moment. Since the start of the 2022 season, Red Bull and Ferrari have outperformed the Silver Arrows’ product, and now Norris’ own McLaren team is regarded as one of those elite innovators.

But in an otherwise exceptional season for the Woking-based team, the British driver has only managed one victory. Given that McLaren is thought to possess one of the fastest cars available, if not the fastest overall, this puts Norris’ previous comments under scrutiny (source: Daily Express).

After Hamilton’s victory at the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, Norris—who was competing in just his second Formula One season—stated that because of Mercedes’ superior engineering, it was expected that the star driver would “win every race.” Hamilton was vying for his fourth straight Formula One world championship (and seventh overall) at the time, but it would take a lot of work on his part.

“To be honest, it means nothing to me,” Norris stated in Portugal. “Basically, he’s driving a car that should win every race. All he has to do is beat one or two other drivers. Bravo for him; he continues to perform his duties.”

In the present era, McLaren has surpassed Mercedes in terms of design superiority, although Toto Wolff’s team appears to have made significant progress in the last few weeks. Oscar Piastri, a teammate, and Norris have both routinely outperformed their Silver Arrow rivals; however, Mercedes now has two wins this season compared to one after the British GP.

At the Spanish Grand Prix last month, Norris, 24, praised McLaren’s car as the fastest in the sport and acknowledged the company’s engineering prowess. There were no excuses for him because he finished second behind Max Verstappen of Red Bull, with partner Piastri finishing fifth.

After the outcome in Catalonia, Norris remarked, “I think we’re the quickest car but I just lost it at the start and then I couldn’t get past George for the first stint.” “So, I believe we had the best car there today by a wide margin. I just didn’t perform well enough off the line, and that one mistake cost me everything. I therefore felt that, on the whole, I couldn’t have accomplished much more after turn two.”

With four podium finishes from six attempts since then, his maiden Formula One victory, which came at the Miami Grand Prix in May, continues to be his only career victory. But as he’s learned, being the best car in Formula One doesn’t always translate into winning first place.

It’s possible that Norris did not picture himself as one of F1’s “Big Three” drivers while he was not operating the best vehicle. Whatever his excuse, it appears his old beliefs are coming back to bite him, as he can find little excuse these days for not leading the field as he once thought Hamilton ought to.

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