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Lando Norris ready to be race winner with McLaren in 2022


Lando Norris is in the final stages of a breakout season. If it weren’t for a ill-advised tire call at the end of the Russian Grand Prix in October, he would be F1’s latest race winner.

Despite that missed opportunity, it’s hard to deny the year Norris has had. Three podiums finished early in the year, the first of which involved a wheel fight with Lewis Hamilton, in which Norris more than held his own, cementing the McLaren driver as one of the sport’s rising stars this.

Norris’s brilliant campaign showcased another moment that could have happened. Just ahead of Sochi, he finished second behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo at the Italian Grand Prix as McLaren scored its first win since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. It was one of the few weekends Ricciardo had overtaken his British teammate. myself this year.

For Norris, good and bad are equally important in setting him up for what McLaren hopes is a triumphant return in 2022, when F1 teams hope for a change of competitive order with the introduction of new rules of aerodynamics.

“I certainly feel a lot more confident that if I fight for a surprise win in my first race next year, especially after being in the position I’m taking in Russia. I think I feel I feel very confident in that position,” Norris said in a recent interview with select media outlets, including ESPN.

“Of course I would still be nervous and whatever but I think I’d be a lot more confident than if I hadn’t had the year I’ve had this year and going through some of the things I went through in the off-season. But I feel much more confident knowing what to do when I’m in that position.

“So I think from that side, I’m ready for that. But I guess you never know how much better you’ll do because that depends a lot on the car and things like that, sometimes. when you have to be lucky, sometimes you’re unlucky I’ve been working hard over the winter to make a lot of these improvements.

“One thing that makes me very happy is seeing real improvements that are clearly impactful and live and show up right away in terms of results.”

He added: “Mainly from the driver’s confidence, the driver’s mentality point of view, I feel very confident. That means we’ll do well or not, we’ll just need to. wait and see.

“From how I feel and what I’ve learned and everything, then I feel like I can go ahead and make some improvements over the winter again and move on to next year, starting with how I feel like I’m finished, which is still better than how I started this season, but the situation will be very different in next year’s car.

“You’re probably going to need different driving styles and things like that because it’s going to be a very different car.”

Norris knows he still has areas to work on to keep his trajectory upward.

“I’m very happy [with the season]. There’s definitely still some work to be done as there are still some roads and driving styles that I need to improve on.

“When the car has been around for the past few years and I know exactly how to drive it, that’s when I can be very powerful.

“But when it starts to get more complicated to drive, let’s say the window is like this and you have to be right here and that’s where we’re going to quickly, but very hard to drive, sometimes on a some roads don’t have the perfect performance window when it’s just a very difficult car to drive and we’re not that fast.. Then trying to figure out how to drive that car is what I struggled with a little bit more. .

“It’s one of the biggest areas for me to improve.”

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