“There’s Just One Guy”: Lando Norris Rues Max Verstappen’s Existence as Elusive Milestone Remains Distant Dream

Published 11/12/2023, 8:33 AM EST

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The 2023 season has been nothing short of a showcase of sheer dominance by Max Verstappen. But this is more than just a streak of wins. Verstappen’s performance this year has shattered records, making it arguably the most dominant season in Formula 1 history. He eclipsed a 75% win rate in a single season, a feat previously unachieved until the São Paulo Grand Prix in 2023.

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Against this backdrop of Verstappen’s unparalleled reign, Lando Norris‘ quest for the top podium finish becomes a narrative of determination and challenge. Speaking after his drive at the 2023 Velocity Invitational Day 1, Norris acknowledged the uphill battle he and his team face.

Lando Norris’ optimism Vs. the challenge against Max Verstappen’s Dominance

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With his candid response to the question about reaching the top step of the podium, Norris said, “I mean, there’s only two more left this season, but I know it’s coming. We’ve given it a good shot. We’ve been very close the last few weekends. I’ve had a lot of, too many, but a lot of second places this year. There’s just one guy and one team in the way, but we’re getting there. I’m very proud of the whole team, and we have a lot of people here from McLaren. So, to keep up the McLaren name and continue to try and push and get another world championship, it’s coming.”

Norris’s statement encapsulates the essence of sportsmanship and the spirit of competition. While acknowledging the formidable barrier that Verstappen represents, Norris remains hopeful and determined. His words reflect not just a desire to win but a deep respect for the challenge posed by a rival who is rewriting the history books of Formula 1.

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McLaren has been turning heads since the summer, swiftly emerging as Red Bull‘s most formidable challenger. The technical metamorphosis of its MCL60, marked by a series of highly effective upgrades since the Austrian Grand Prix, has been nothing short of spectacular. But can they be the challengers in 2024?

McLaren and Lando Norris’ hopes on 2024

Lando Norris has been a consistent podium finisher, claiming five in the last six races. His rookie teammate, Oscar Piastri, has also made notable strides with two podiums of his own. The buzz in the paddock is whether McLaren can challenge Max Verstappen and Red Bull in 2024.

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Norris, when quizzed about this possibility, responded with cautious optimism. “Maybe,” he said (as per Motorsport.com). “I’ve been the second highest scoring driver since Austria… It’s a very, very good thing what we’ve achieved this year.” Norris acknowledged the enormity of the task, considering Red Bull’s dominance and Verstappen’s prowess. “We’re talking about one of the best drivers in Formula 1 ever, in one of the most dominating cars.”

McLaren’s resurgence is underpinned by several factors, including its new wind tunnel, crucial for the development of its 2024 car. The team’s recent recruits, such as Rob Marshall from Red Bull, although joining too late to influence the 2024 launch car, signify a strengthening of their technical team.

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McLaren’s ascendancy in the latter half of 2023 has been remarkable, but the real test will come in 2024. Their progress, while impressive, must be viewed in the context of the relentless development race in Formula 1, where the journey from the drawing board to the racetrack is fraught with challenges and opportunities.

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Written by:

Pulkit Jai

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Pulkit is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a strong academic background in engineering, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the intricate mechanics and technology driving Formula 1. This expertise allows him to offer insightful analysis, exploring the technical aspects of the sport and shedding light on the innovative advancements that shape the world of F1.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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