The Hungarian Grand Prix, scheduled for next weekend in Budapest, will effectively mark the mid-season turning point for F1. Currently, with ten GPs played out of the 23 theoretically on the calendar, one of the biggest surprises of the championship is represented by the Englishman of McLaren Lando Norris. The young man from Bristol is third in the drivers’ standings, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, second guides respectively of Mercedes and Red Bull. The last driver of the Woking team able to close the season in the top three of the ranking had been Jenson Button ten years ago, in 2011.
Norris: “Mercedes and Red Bull still favorites in 2022”
The results that Norris is achieving, capable of getting on the podium three times this year, are exceeding the most optimistic expectations. McLaren’s # 4 is currently the only driver to have ever scored points in every race this year and it is precisely his continuity of performance that is placing McLaren in third place in the constructors’ standings, ahead of Ferrari. If the ‘bronze medal’ at the end of the season represents a declared objective among the teams, the same cannot be said for the drivers’ championship. McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, however, he said he did not think it impossible for his driver to defend this surprising placement until the end of the year.
Norris, a new record: 15 points races in a row
“Norris third? Whether that’s a realistic goal is hard to say, because Red Bull and Mercedes are clearly better cars. Valtteri and Checo showed some great races this year and we also know what they can do from the past. Obviously, thanks to the excellent performances of Lando, the team and with the competitive car we have this year, we managed to be third after 10 races. So it is not unrealistic to stay there“ Seidl pointed out to the site F1i.com. “Let’s see what we can do in the second half of the season – added the German manager – but we have to be honest. Every now and then something goes wrong on the side of Red Bull or Mercedes, because we are not in a position to beat them on pure performance.“.