The small changes behind Norris’ rise to F1 stardom
Lando Norris is arguably one of F1’s drivers of the year so far – he's barely put a wheel wrong all season. His McLaren bosses speak of him having “taken the next step” to becoming even better, a point he evidenced in Austria. Stuart Codling digs into the fine details that have helped him challenge for podiums on merit.
Some drivers arrive in Formula 1 thrillingly complete. Others are still on what’s known in modern media-saturated parlance as “the journey”. For every Lewis Hamilton – podium finisher in his first grand prix, polesitter and winner of his sixth – there are dozens of other slower-burning talents who had to feel their way carefully towards becoming the finished article.
Lando Norris is perhaps one such. Aged 19 when he made his F1 debut at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, he was by no means the first teenager to break into motor racing’s top echelon. But there were those who interpreted his boyish swagger and fondness for japery as an inherent lack of seriousness – for certain eminences grise within the paddock, a cardinal and career-limiting sin.
Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline
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