Formula 1

Lando Norris Sets Bittersweet F1 Record at Japanese GP Amidst McLaren’s Resurgence

Lando Norris has unwittingly set a new, albeit unwanted, record at the Japanese Grand Prix. Despite his impressive performance throughout the 2023 season, Norris now holds the title for the most points scored by an F1 driver without securing a race win.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lando Norris has amassed 115 points in the 2023 Drivers’ Standings and 543 career points, setting the record for the most points without a win in Formula 1 history. This milestone highlights his consistent performance despite lacking a race victory.
  • McLaren’s introduction of the B-spec car and subsequent upgrades have significantly improved their performance, culminating in a double podium finish and a declaration of intent to challenge Red Bull.
  • Norris’ optimism remains high despite the record, as evidenced in his post-race interview with Damon Hill, where he praised the team’s progress and expressed confidence in closing the gap with race leaders, particularly Red Bull.

Lando Norris’s journey in the 2023 Formula 1 season has been a testament to consistent performance and unwavering dedication. As a driver for McLaren, Norris has shown remarkable skill and resilience, despite not having secured a race win so far. The Japanese Grand Prix brought to light an intriguing aspect of Norris’s career – he now holds the record for the most points scored in F1 without a win. This record, albeit not the most coveted, underscores his ability to consistently gather points and maintain a strong standing in the Drivers’ Standings.

McLaren’s season had its challenges initially, but the scenario began to change with the introduction of a B-spec car in Austria. Further upgrades in Singapore marked a significant turning point for the team. These developments led to McLaren’s first double podium finish of the season, a clear indication of their upward trajectory. This success didn’t go unnoticed by Norris, who expressed his enthusiasm and determination in a radio message during the cool-down lap:

“Incredible, well-done everyone, insane! Double podium, two of us up there! We are coming for Red Bull! Let’s keep up the work. Incredible. Thank you to everyone in the factory, everyone here trackside. Love you all so much, thank you.”

Although catching up with Red Bull in terms of points seems unlikely for the time being, Norris and McLaren are focused on narrowing the pace gap with race leader Max Verstappen. Norris’s comments to Damon Hill post-race at Suzuka highlighted this ambition:

“Another amazing day for us, P2 and a P3, so couldn’t have asked for any more. The team did an amazing job. My start was very good, I almost had Max but Max is Max as well, so I didn’t have another chance into Turn Two. I tried. The pace was extremely strong today, compared to everyone and I mean, we’re not close to Max, but we’re not miles away either. We’re pushing, we’re getting there. The progress we’ve made is pretty outstanding. So like I said, I’m very proud of the team and the steps forward we’re making every weekend. I’m sure there’s gonna be some tough times to come but we’re getting to step by step.”

As the Formula 1 season continues, the question remains: Can Norris and McLaren continue their upward trend and achieve that elusive first win? Their progress and determination certainly make them a team to watch in the upcoming Grand Prix.

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