Lando Norris becomes record holder for all the wrong reasons

Lando Norris has been in excellent form at McLaren this year, prompting speculation about him joining Red Bull.

Lando Norris’ podium last weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix marked his fourth rostrum of 2023; however, it also saw him become a Formula 1 record holder for all the wrong reasons.

Norris extended his recent positive run to four P2 finishes in the last seven races, after another solid display at Suzuka.

Starting from third – behind Max Verstappen and team-mate Oscar Piastri – the British driver got an excellent launch off the line and attempted to go around the outside of Verstappen, who started on pole to no surprise.

Unfortunately, Verstappen was just too far ahead as they entered the first corner, leaving the McLaren driver to settle into second.

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His race was extremely calm and involved little action, with the only exception having been when McLaren used team orders to get Piastri – who pitted before Norris – to give the 23-year-old his position.

As soon as Piastri followed the Woking-based team’s orders, Norris cleared off into the distance.

Norris finished the race 19.3 seconds behind race winner Verstappen but did well to cross the line 17 seconds ahead of Piastri.

Not only was Norris’ podium the fourth of his 2023 campaign, but it was also the ninth of his F1 career.

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Considering that he’s driven for McLaren whilst they’ve been a midfield team for most of his time in F1, Norris has actually featured towards the front on countless occasions.

As a result, the Briton has scored quite a few points in his five-year career in F1, enough to see him break a record previously held by Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg.

Norris’ Suzuka podium saw the McLaren driver become the highest-scoring driver in the history of F1 not to claim a race win, something he came agonisingly close to doing at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.

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His P2 in Japan moved him onto 543 points across his F1 career, moving him 13 clear of Hulkenberg.

In doing so, Norris is now the holder of the record nobody wants.

Should he want Hulkenberg to reclaim the record soon, then Norris really does need to try and secure his maiden F1 win before the end of 2023, something he has six more chances to do.