Lando Norris feels it’s unfair to compare him to Lewis Hamilton with McLaren unable to compete for race wins like they were when the latter burst onto the scene nearly two decades ago. Norris is regarded as one of the brightest talents in F1 and he’s set to compete in his 100th race this weekend.
Now in his fifth year, Norris is still waiting for that elusive first win with a few near-misses. Hamilton had managed 17 race wins and picked up his first Drivers’ Championship in the same timeframe.
But with Norris flying the British flag at McLaren like Hamilton once did, comparisons have inevitably been made between the two compatriots. However, Norris doesn’t think a fair comparison can be made on both drivers’ first five years in F1 due to McLaren’s dip in form.
“I think the hard thing for me in general with stats is there are certain ones I maybe like more than others,” Norris told Motorsport Week. “If it’s got anything to do with wins and stuff like that I respect it when that time comes. I respect it in general, but it’s no target of mine.
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“I’ve done five years already not being able to win a race because I’ve just not had the car to do so. Comparing to other people, you know, they’re in different situations – Lewis came into McLaren when they were winning races.
“So if anyone asks me, ‘are you trying to do what Lewis did?’ I’d go ‘no,’ because you can’t – it’s just not the same. I’m just trying to do my own stuff and maximise what I can do myself. When that time comes of ‘you’re now matching these guys’ or ‘you’ve got 30 wins,’ then I think that’s when I see it as a huge achievement to be alongside these people because I respect everyone that I race with, race against, and who has raced.”
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Norris will be hoping his fortunes turn around and that first race win can come sooner rather than later. He’s had to watch on as his close friend Max Verstappen has dominated the sport over the past three years.
But the Brit is hoping he can dethrone Verstappen in the near future with one eye also on racing outside of F1. “My goals are still the same – to win races, to win championships,” Norris added. “Once that time comes then I’ll have to re-evaluate but until that time comes that’s my only goal.
“Some things with me and Max I would say are completely different but in some things, I would say we’re quite similar just from what we enjoy doing. I mean he hates playing golf but we play padel together. We love racing, we love sim racing so there’s some other similarities. He enjoys other car racing and I really do too. I loved doing the Daytona 24 Hour before and I love driving other cars, not just Formula One. I’m a car lover, not just a Formula One lover.”
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