Only Norris in same league as Verstappen & Leclerc - Marko

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Lando Norris is the only Formula 1 driver in the same league as Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claims.

The McLaren driver has continued his impressive form into this season, once again outshining teammate Daniel Ricciardo and claiming his sixth career podium at Imola, ironically after a spin by Leclerc.

And speaking to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, Marko sounded out Norris as he predicted this year's F1 championship battle will be a two-horse race between the current world champion and the Monegasque.

“The only talented driver I still see in this league is Lando Norris, but he doesn’t have the best machinery at the moment," he stated.

Also Read:

That praise comes after McLaren CEO Zak Brown also declared the 22-year-old is among the elite talents on the current F1 grid.

“He has,” the American told the F1 Nation podcast on if Norris had improved again in 2022. “He is, in my opinion, as good as anyone in Formula 1 – unbelievably fast.

“There are a lot of fast drivers in Formula 1, but the part that I’m most impressed [about] with Lando is how few mistakes he makes – and his mistakes are small.

“A track limits [violation], locked up a brake, you haven’t seen him many times put the car in the fence, run wide of a corner under pressure and make a mistake.

“He’s, I think, as far as pure natural talent, I think he has as much as anyone in Formula 1."

Norris Pole RussGP

Brown then pointed to his performances last year to prove his potential.

“I mean, he could have won three races in a row last year, right?" he stated. "In Monza, there was nothing between him and Daniel.

“In Russia, had it not been for the call at the end of the race, that race was his to win. In Spa, he was the fastest person in qualifying by some margin all the way up until he had his accident – so he could have won three on the trot.

“He’s ready to win for sure, we just need to put him in a position to win.”

Brown though thinks the fact Norris is signed at McLaren until the end of 2025 means he has faith that the team can give him the car he needs.

“I think he knows we don’t have the fastest car on the grid, and that’s why he signed up for as long as he did, as he knows we’ll get there,” the CEO said.

“He believes in us and he really enjoys the environment, and I think as long as we continue to show forward progress, he’ll be satisfied that his win is not far away."