Lando Norris believes that he could “100%” give Max Verstappen a run for his money, following a stellar start to the 2021 Formula 1 season.
The McLaren driver has been on the podium twice from the opening eight races and is thoroughly outdriving highly thought of teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who has 34 points to the third year man’s 86.
Only Verstappen, who currently leads the championship by 18 points, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez have more points than Norris so far, and he is understandably feeling confident in his abilities as a result.
“100%, I believe I could give him a run for his money,” he told Sky Sports F1 when asked how he compares to the Dutchman.
“There are just different scenarios and situations where experience comes into play and you think ‘maybe he would have the upper hand on me in that scenario’ and I believe he is one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1.
“I think he has proven that since he joined when he was 16 or 17 years old.”
Norris has looked the complete package so far this season after not quite capitalising on his clear speed during his first two years in the sport.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown recently sang the praises of Norris, calling him as fast as anyone on the grid, but the 21-year-old said there were no more excuses coming into his third campaign in F1.
“There’s been a lot of work I’ve done over the winter and still all the way through this year,” he added.
“I’ve put in a lot of time and effort, working a lot with my engineers to get results like we’ve done this year. Coming into your third season, that’s the one when people are like ‘there are no excuses anymore’.
“The first two you can get away with a couple of things, especially in your first season.
“And I guess with the addition of Danny coming into the team, there was a lot more eyes on what I’m going to be like versus Danny rather than the opposite way around.
“Not many people knew how good Carlos is and this year Carlos has proved how good he is against Charles, whom everyone rates as one of the best drivers in Formula 1. I think it’s good for me to know where I stand compared to other drivers.”