Is a Norris F1 win within reach in 2024?
  • Home
  • F1
  • Is a Norris F1 win within reach in 2024?
By Adam Proud profile image Adam Proud
4 min read

Is a Norris F1 win within reach in 2024?

Lando Norris is yet to stand on the top step in Formula 1, but could that change this year?

Now in his sixth year on the Formula 1 grid, there’s been plenty to shout about for Lando Norris.

From a pole position, 15 podiums, and his chipper personality - it’s fair to say the 24-year-old has already made his mark on the paddock.

But aside from the obvious world title, there’s one thing still glaringly absent from his résumé - an F1 race victory.

It’s been painfully close but so often has it been snatched from the grasp of the McLaren driver.

Take the Russian Grand Prix in 2021 - by far his biggest opportunity to take that win - which despite taking pole position and leading for 51 of the 53 laps, Norris failed to take the opportunity to pit for intermediate tyres as the rain began to pour.

It is rather ironic that it quite literally rained on what was almost the British driver’s parade - and it was no doubt a moment he rued as what could be called a stubborn choice to stay out on slick tyres quickly turned out to be the wrong call.

Since then there hasn’t been an opportunity quite as big as that day in Russia to win a race - but the chances have still been there.

Including last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, Norris has finished second seven times since Russia’s 2021 race, and he now holds the record for the most podiums without a win, as well as sharing the most second place finishes without a win (eight).

That will be painful reading for the young driver.

However it’s fair that the McLaren car hasn’t been the best car on the grid during this time, and with the dominance that Max Verstappen currently holds on the grid, it’s harder than ever for Norris to break that duck and get a victory.

But Andrea Stella (McLaren team principal) is leading a project that can see the team become one that can be fighting not only for wins again, but for championships.

Despite this, Norris is still unsure if that win can be had in the upcoming races.

“Not anytime soon, that's for sure,” he said ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

“I think we can. Right place, right time, if we improve the car how we need to.

“Honestly, there weren't too many frustrations with Suzuka. I think everything went pretty much as expected.

“I don't think we did a perfect job and I think we probably should have finished one place higher up, potentially. But I don't think it was far off.

“We've been in the same place all season. We've been behind Red Bull, we've been behind Ferrari and we've been a bit of a step ahead of the other two teams come the race.”

It’s damning news if you're a Norris fan, but at this stage of the season it’s better to be realistic with expectations.

It’s those expectations that can bring some surprise results - just as he did last weekend in China as he took the Sprint Pole on Friday, before following that up with second in Sunday’s grand prix.

But although the pace was good enough to stay at the front end of the pack, it still wasn’t something Norris was expecting - especially given the feeling he had with the car.

“No, probably not. I mean, big improvement today compared to yesterday,” he said when asked if the car was the best it’s felt all season on Sunday’s race.

“I think that's why we were probably a bit surprised. I'm surprised to be sitting here today, but it's a nice surprise of course. Difficult to say, you know, we've been struggling a little bit.

“I'm sure everyone does, with certain things throughout the whole season, which have always been limiting us. It probably felt similar-ish to Australia.

“[In] Australia, I felt comfortable and the car felt pretty good as well. So just much better today, things came alive today, the conditions cooled down, the wind calmed down and both of these things, I think, played into our hands a little bit more.

“So, you know, that's why yesterday, if you asked me, what do we expect for today, it definitely was nowhere near top three, or even maybe top five, you know. So a pleasant surprise.”

Like Norris mentioned ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, it will be a case of everything falling into place to grab that elusive first victory.

But if McLaren continues its upward trend of recent years, it can’t be too far away.

By Adam Proud profile image Adam Proud
Updated on
F1 News