Zak Brown denies Lando Norris ‘arrogance’ as he makes lack of credit claim

Lando Norris finished seventh in the drivers’ championship in 2022, the highest ranked driver outside of the top three teams.

The best of the rest crown is always important for a driver’s bragging rights, as every individual seeks to be the best driver outside of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, who typically have much superior machinery.

Despite McLaren’s slow start in 2022 under the new regulations, Lando Norris managed to beat the likes of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon to seventh place in the championship, even though Alpine got the better of McLaren in the constructors’ standings.

Given his F1 debut by McLaren in 2019, Norris is one of the most exiting prospects in the sport at the moment, with six podiums to his name despite never having a car truly capable of beating the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.

In 2022, the 23-year-old looked like the complete package, far from the diamond in the rough that was introduced to the sport to partner Carlos Sainz four seasons ago, and McLaren CEO Zak Brown has now outlined where he believes Norris has improved the most.

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“He’s just getting better and better,” said Brown.

“He puts together some amazing qualifying laps, I don’t think he probably gets enough credit how awesome he can be when it’s time to set a lap.

“We’ll be in free practice three and bang, there it comes in qualifying when he needs to do it in Q3. [We’ll say] ‘wow, where did that come from?’

“He does that often, he makes very few mistakes, he rarely makes a big mistake. If I look at where he started versus now, he’s got a very high level of confidence, but not arrogance.

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“He’s definitely one with the team and the racing car. He puts together unbelievable qualifying laps, and his race craft, if i look at season one to now, his race craft is exponentially better.”

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Despite pundits calling for Norris to make a move to a more competitive team such as Red Bull, who have been heavily linked with the Brit in recent months, the 23-year-old has stated his loyalty to McLaren.

On a long-term contract, Norris has explained that he appreciates the honesty from his team with regards to their progress and their project, firmly believing that McLaren are on the right path to become race winners once again in the near future.

A state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility is set to be completed and operational next year, and the team will hope that his gives them the capability to compete with the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari for world championships once more.