Brown: Lando Norris is as fast as anyone on the grid


McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that Lando Norris is “as fast as anyone” on the Formula 1 grid at the moment after the 21-year-old’s fast start to the 2021 season.

Seven races into the year, Norris sits fourth in the drivers’ championship and has finished on the podium twice, outscoring new teammate Daniel Ricciardo 76 points to 34.

As a result, McLaren find themselves third in the constructors’ standings 16 points clear of best of the rest rivals Ferrari.

The form of Norris has put pressure on Ricciardo, who is yet to fully live up to expectations following his off-season move from Renault, and Brown admitted that the outstanding benchmark set by the young Brit so far has made things look worse for the Australian.

“We mustn’t forget, he had half the testing that we had this year, and we were still trying to learn the power unit in testing,” Brown said. “So what we’re seeing out of Daniel is he’s getting quicker every weekend.

“His work ethic is great, his attitude is great, and he and the team are just working more closely together.

“So I’m extremely confident that he’ll get to his ultimate pace here shortly. I think adapting to a new car in a COVID era, where you have reduced testing, has certainly not made it easy on him.

“He’s got a team-mate who I think is as fast as anyone on the grid. So he’s got a great bar to race against.”

FP1 for the Styrian Grand Prix gets underway at 11:30 local time on Friday.