Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship
Lando Norris has warned his rivals that McLaren are continuing to make significant progress and are capable of mounting a Championship charge in the near future. The 24-year-old enjoyed a promising 2023, taking seven podiums and finishing sixth in the Drivers’ Championship – though an F1 victory still escapes him.
Norris finished the season in flying form, scoring the second-most points after the summer break – only behind Red Bull star Max Verstappen. The Dutchman has been an unstoppable force over the past few seasons, and his dominant reign is showing no signs of slowing.
There are high hopes that Verstappen will clinch his fourth consecutive title next year and write himself into the history books, though he may need to be wary of the threat that Norris can pose.
Speaking to RacingNews365, the Brit fired a warning to Verstappen that McLaren are continuing to exceed their internal expectations and progress ahead of schedule. Reviewing 2023, he explained: “Since the halfway point of the season, I felt more confident and I feel like I’ve been getting the most out of the car, especially from a racing perspective.
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“I’ve just made a few too many mistakes in qualifying, which I think have been obvious and I’ve acknowledged. But I definitely think I’ve had some of the best races I’ve ever done. I believe that McLaren can continue turning things around, this was the year that we needed and the team needed to prove those things.”
Norris then went on to explain how a major update at the Austrian Grand Prix sparked his season into life, continuing: “The beginning was tough because I thought it was going to be for a whole year, we didn’t know how much we were going to improve. Especially the very beginning.
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“Of course, we said we’ll be a bit patient and we’ve got some decent things coming. But in the past few years, when you’ve had decent things come in they’ve not always stood up to be that much of an improvement.
“This year was quite the opposite and turned out to be almost a bigger improvement than we were expecting.” It remains to be seen whether McLaren improve further over the winter break and if Norris is able to hit the ground running when next season gets underway. A strong start to the season likely to prove crucial towards the latter stages of the year if he sticks to his word and pushes Verstappen for the Championship.
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