“If he lost to Sainz, let alone how many he will get from Ricciardo“. This was the tenor of some comments on Lando Norris twelve months ago. Words that implied a sensational underestimation of both the Spaniard, who went to Ferrari, and the British, as if the couple who brought McLaren to the constructors’ podium had no merit in the results of the Woking team. Instead, both Sainz (his report card here) and Norris had a phenomenal season, being the best of their teams with four podiums each. The Briton enhanced the season with a pole position in Sochi and another that he would have deserved at Spa. And that perhaps he would have achieved if he hadn’t crashed at Eau Rouge in the downpour.
Norris experienced exciting moments not only in qualifying but also in the race: his consistency in the first part of the season was amazing, with nine top-5 finishes in the first ten races of the World Championship. And then, how not to mention the Sochi masterpiece, where he was leading until a few laps from the end and even in the wet he managed to resist a master of the water like Lewis Hamilton. Unfortunately for him, the choice to stay out on dry tires (strongly desired by the driver) did not pay off. From then on, Norris’s performance was never the same, and for this reason the Briton takes less than Sainz, who instead closed the season in crescendo and did not let himself be distracted by the difficulties.
Despite the decline in the second part, an aspect highlighted also in 2020, Norris overwhelmed his teammate Daniel Ricciardo: 15-7 in qualifying, 14-6 in the race (when both reached the finish line). And then, several moral slaps, one above all the dubbing of Monte-Carlo. Nonetheless, the Australian gave McLaren the only victory, the success that Norris still lacks. But that, if Lando continues like this, it will not be long in coming.
Lando Norris, 160 points. 6th place. Average: 7.27 points. In 2020: 9th place
Rating: 8- | Landon Calling
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