Norris labelled 'world championship material' after Austria podium

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Lando Norris has been hailed as "world championship material" after his first Formula 1 podium in Austria this past weekend.

The McLaren driver produced a remarkable late charge to close 1.7s on Lewis Hamilton in two laps to snatch third by finishing within the five-second penalty his fellow Briton had been given for colliding with Alex Albon earlier in the race.

Norris' first taste of champagne in F1 also came after his best qualifying in fourth, before starting third due to another Hamilton penalty, and McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl saw his performance as a watershed moment.

“For a driver, it is important to create this momentum for himself as it gives him the confidence he needs to pull it off when it matters in qualifying and the race,” he told Autosport.

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“Lando was simply building it up as he started well last year. You could see that last year in his race starts when he started carefully at the beginning, and then once he had a bit of confidence and races under his belt, he was there.

“With the work he has done together with his team over the winter, I think he simply made the next step. I am very happy, very happy with the team, so we can have some great results with him in the future.”

The highest praise though came from two-time world champion Emmerson Fittipaldi.

“Lando Norris has all the ingredients to be a champion. He’s World Championship title material for sure,” the Brazilian told Standard Sport.

“He’s very talented, he’s been very successful in karting and other formula and it’s great to see another British challenger come along.”

Fittipaldi also highlighted the considerable improvement his former team has made in recent years, allowing the 21-year-old to shine.

“McLaren came back very strong last year,” he said. “We know already that [Max] Verstappen and [Charles] Leclerc are showing their potential but you have to say Lando Norris as well.

“There’s so many great talents, he’s right up there for me and part of a new golden era. Lando is maybe the unknown of the three but for me, he’s as much World Champion material as the other two.”