‘He’s one of the most talented drivers ever’ – Norris full of praise for Verstappen as he aims to join future title fights
Lando Norris has lauded Max Verstappen as one of the best drivers to ever grace the Formula 1 world as the Dutchman looks set to become a back-to-back world champion in 2022.
Verstappen leads nearest rival Charles Leclerc by 116 points heading into this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, giving him the first opportunity to add to his maiden crown with six races still remaining.
Verstappen’s performances en route to 11 wins from 16 races so far this season have impressed many in the paddock, including McLaren driver Norris, who has no issue in recognising his rival’s talent.
“He’s done [an] amazing [job] – very impressive. Similar to Lewis [Hamilton] in previous years; when you’ve got a car that can deliver and can win races, he’s the one taking his opportunities,” said Norris in an interview with Sky Sports F1.
“Even FP1, FP2, FP3, he’s never under the limit, he’s always pushing the limit. [In] FP1, [with his] first lap of the whole day, his lap times are quicker than what we ever do in qualifying sometimes!
“He’s one of the most talented drivers ever to come into Formula 1, one of the fastest. No doubt he’s going to win his second [title] this year and most likely go on to win a few more in the future.”
Norris, 22, is two years younger than Verstappen and is hopeful of joining the fight for world championships in the not-too-distant future, but knows patience is often required during a driver’s journey to the top.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to know you might not win a race for one, two, three, five, 10 years – your opportunity might come in 12 years even, or something like that,” he added.
“I guess it’s frustrating at times, because you feel like you deserve more at certain periods. No matter how much hard work you put in and so on, you have a guy that can have the easiest race, chill for the whole race and win the race, and then there’s you sweating and having the hardest race of your life and finishing P8.
“[I] never [have] hard feelings against anyone else, because they’re probably deserving to be in that position. You just have to have faith that in a few years, or whatever, a few races, you’ll have your opportunity.”