Lando Norris has described Max Verstappen as “one of the most talented drivers ever,” and joked that the Dutchman should try driving a slower car.
Verstappen’s rise to the top was an astronomical one when he completed a practice session with Toro Rosso in 2014 at just 17 years of age.
That was during his one season of single seater racing before being promoted to the Red Bull junior side in 2015, and he quickly worked his way up to the main fold a year later.
Since then, the now 24-year-old has taken 31 race wins, including one on his debut at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, and he claimed his maiden world title last year.
This season, Verstappen has already beaten his record of 10 wins from last year, and he is currently on course to break two records.
One of them is the most wins for a driver in a single season, which currently stands at 13, and the other is the most consecutive wins.
Verstappen has won the last five, and if he wins the next six races, that will take him up to 11 consecutive victories, beating Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine.
The German holds the aforementioned record for most wins in a season too, together with Michael Schumacher.
Vettel is retiring at the end of the season, and he might do so having watched two of his records smashed by the Hasselt-born megastar.
Verstappen is 116 points clear of Charles Leclerc in the championship, and it now looks more than likely that he will wrap up his second championship by the end of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Norris and Verstappen had a few beers and a go on the plates at a nightclub ahead of this year’s Singapore Grand Prix, and some joked that they need not prepare for the physically demanding night race.
It was said that Verstappen already knows he is going to win, as does the 22-year-old, so they may as well have some fun rather than train.
This is of course not the case, but the Briton quipped that life is simple for the reigning champion at present.
“He has it easy, his season has been easy,” Norris told Sky Sports.
“He should maybe have a go back in our car and see what that’s like.”
On a more serious note, Norris is in awe of Verstappen’s ability to consistently out-perform his team-mate, Sergio Perez, in the same car.
“He has done amazing, of course, similar to [Sir] Lewis Hamilton in previous years,” he added.
“If you have a car that can deliver and can win races, he is the one who takes that chance every time. He is beating his teammate every time. It’s impressive to see him perform day in, day out.”
The six-time podium finisher also praised the Red Bull driver’s ability to perform at an exquisite level from the first lap of practice to the end of the race.
“Even in FP1, the first lap of the whole day, his lap times normally are quicker than we can ever do in qualifying something,” stated Norris.
“He is one of the most talented drivers ever to come into Formula 1, one of the fastest. No doubt he is going to win his second this year and most likely he will go on and win more in the future.”
Norris himself has been touted by many as a possible future champion in his own right.