Zak Brown, as Ron Dennis did with Lewis Hamilton, has his driver emergent and winner, and is none other than Lando Norris, team reserve. After winning the F3 last year, and running in Daytona in January teaming with Fernando Alonso, Lando gave a recital in the first F2 race of the season a few weeks ago in Bahrain and his debut. The British driver is the pearl of the team and is on the right track, having talent and being English in a team as English as McLaren.
It is undoubtedly soon to know what will happen in such a long season of F2, but Norris points to F1 driver for 2019, and may put in difficulty Stoffel Vandoorne if this progression continues. Fernando can run at McLaren until he gets bored, but Vandoorne’s credit is not like that of the Spaniard nor is he compromising the Spanish’s leadership.
In the twenty long races that have been doing partner, Alonso usually half qualify two positions ahead (17-5 in qualification between both) with an average of 0.3 tenths of speed superior to the Asturian. In points, the disastrous last year left a 17-13 for Fernando, while he marches 22-6.
The Belgian, GP2 champion (today F2) who tries to win Norris this year, at least does not back down from his starting position, wins positions (9), but it’s not Alonso’s, with 7 positions won at the start and another 10 more in the race. Yes, it’s been a short time, but two years in this F1 is already time and Norris is hitting hard at the door of the team, even threatening that if he has no short-term gap, he could look for beans in another team. You have to be clear about what you treasure.
Contrary to what one might think, Lando has almost never been to the F1 paddock, he does not walk despite having a pass to do so. His position is to be with Carlin, his F2 team, with his engineers and working with them and not in the McLaren hospitality lobbying.
Norris does not see the McLaren pilots over the weekend, meaning that the mentoring of the elders does not exist and the young Briton has to remove the chestnuts from the fire alone.
When there is a driver who wins in his first race of a specialty always looking for technical explanations that serve to detract from the success achieved, especially the rivals who have more years in the specialty, but the reality is that Norris has reached the F2 as a cyclone, perplexing the veterans. And when a driver arrives for the first time in a category and wins and proclaims champion of it, as he has always done in his sports career, he has something more than the best car, has an innate natural talent and a lot of work capacity . And simulator hours at Woking, and meetings with McLaren engineers to learn and learn.
He has the same wood of champion as the Spaniard and his compatriot Lewis Hamilton. Zak Brown has always said that he has innate qualities, natural talent such as Fernando and Lewis, placing his pupil at the height of the champions in the future. And 2019 looks like its year.
Norris, the English pearl champion of almost everything
Lando Norris has, at 18, an enviable record. In 2013 he won the European KFJ championship of CIK-FIA, the KFJ super-cup of CIK-FIA, the WSK Euro Series of KFJ, the international super-cup of CIK-FIA and the world karting championship. He was the youngest driver to be world champion with 14 years overtaking Hamilton. So, to begin with. Then in the jump to single-seaters, more of the same: the North European Cup of Formula Renault 2.0 and the Eurocopa of Formula Renault 2.0 in 2016 and last year the Formula 3, the title that Verstappen could not win. A portent looking for his place on the grid of F1.