McLaren Star Norris Hungers for Maiden F1 Win

McLaren Star Norris Hungers for Maiden F1 Win

Analysis

F1

January 23rd, 2024

Lando Norris, McLaren's star driver, is chasing a maiden Formula 1 victory with unwavering determination, despite already establishing himself as the team's leading force in 2023. While he notched up more than double the points of rookie teammate Oscar Piastri and secured seven podium finishes – surpassing his previous four seasons combined – team principal Andrea Stella believes Norris's true potential remains largely untapped.

Can McLaren's Star Ignite His Maiden F1 Win?

Despite consistent points finishes, Norris's season wasn't without its blemishes. Wall contact in Saudi Arabia, a Barcelona start collision, and a Las Vegas GP crash were costly mistakes. When asked about their source, Stella emphasized a holistic approach, stating, "It's not just one element... things are connected – physical, mental, well-being, team integration. All these battles are intense for Lando."

Stella acknowledges the immense pressure of F1's competitive landscape, where "consistency at the top makes the difference." He cites Max Verstappen's phenomenal 21 podium finishes in 22 races as the new benchmark.

Norris, however, possesses undeniable flashes of brilliance. Stella marvels at his "amazing" pole position in Brazil's sprint race, achieved after losing time in the first sector. "But consistency in delivering this kind of performance is what makes the difference," he emphasizes.

Verstappen's dominance casts a long shadow, but Norris's hunger for victory remains undimmed. Will his first win unlock a new level of confidence? Stella believes so, stating, "The first victory is always the most important. It brings confidence and makes other things easier."

The Challenges and Dreams Fueling Lando Norris F1 Ascent

However, Stella admits the team hasn't consistently provided Norris with a car capable of challenging for wins. "When Lando wins his first race, it will be a beautiful moment. He's ready for that. It's more about us being ready and delivering the car."

Adding a layer of intrigue is Piastri's surprise sprint race win in Losail. When asked about a potential headache if Piastri were to secure a grand prix victory before Norris, Stella surprisingly expressed excitement: "It would be an incredible result... It means we have a car that can win races. And I think Lando would recognize how fair of a competitor Oscar is and ask himself what he needs to do better."

McLaren's progress in 2024 will be crucial in retaining Norris's services. While contracted until 2025, Red Bull's reported interest in pairing him with Verstappen looms large. Stella's approach is straightforward: "All we need to keep doing is giving him the environment he wants. Then, I'm confident he'll stick around."

Norris's journey towards his maiden F1 victory promises to be a captivating one, filled with moments of brilliance, occasional setbacks, and the ever-present pressure to unlock his true potential. With McLaren committed to providing him with the tools he needs, the 2024 season could be the year the young Briton finally conquers the elusive top step of the podium.

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img via: IMAGO / Motorsport Images

tag: McLaren , Norris , F1

Klei Hoxha Author

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