Rivals more ‘disappointed’ than Lando Norris as he equals unwanted record

Michelle Foster
Lando Norris

Lando Norris has kept hold of his first sprint pole.

Having equalled Nick Heidfeld’s record for the most podiums without a win, Viaplay’s Allan Kalff says Lando Norris shouldn’t be too hard on himself as he’s racing against a driver of Max Verstappen’s standard.

Taking the chequered flag in second place at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Norris moved onto seven podiums for this season and 13 in total over the course of his career.

But while that elevated him to fifth in the Drivers’ Championship as he overhauled Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with it came an unwanted record.

Lando Norris is tied with Nick Heidfeld on 13 podiums without a win

Thirteen podiums means the McLaren driver is tied with former Williams and BMW-Sauber driver for the most top-three results without a grand prix victory.

It’s a disappointing stat for the Briton who accepts it’s “unlikely” he’ll get a first win before this season is over.

Kalff says he shouldn’t feel bad about that given the form of reigning World Champion Verstappen in the midst of what is a record-breaking season for the Red Bull diver.

“You very rarely win, unless you are Max Verstappen,” Kalff told Viaplay’s In the Slipstream. “You almost never win, so you have to cherish a podium.”

“There are many who have never been on the podium. They must be much more disappointed [than Norris].”

Jokingly he added: “If you want to be depressed, you should drive [in] Formula 1.”

One such driver is Nico Hulkenberg, who is now up to 201 starts without a podium.

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Kalff’s fellow pundit Kees van de Grint believes Norris and Hulkenberg – and everyone else on the grid – should appreciate that they’re even in Formula 1, stats aside.

“You should cherish driving in Formula 1. You are then one of the – in quotes – best 20, 22 there are,” said the former Bridgestone tyre engineer.

“If you ever get on the podium, that is quite an achievement. There are entire tribes of people who have driven Formula 1 and have never seen the podium up close.

But he concedes: “The ultimate goal is to win. After that, the goal is the title.”

Could Norris break his duck in Las Vegas?

Formula 1’s next stop is the brand-new Las Vegas Grand Prix, an unknown for the teams especially with very cold conditions expected.

But while Norris says it’s unlikely he’ll beat Verstappen at the final United States race of 2023, maybe – just maybe – it could happen.

“Unlikely,” he told Sky Sports. “Not the answer I want to tell myself or anyone but it’s unlikely. Qatar was our best opportunity. I guess that’s why I was so tough on myself back then because I knew it was our only opportunity.

“We have good tracks and bad tracks, it’s just we have our very, very strong tracks. We still have some good ones I think but not ones where we think we can compete with the others.

“Some fun ones. Vegas is still a big question mark but there are no high-speed circuits which is where we are very strong. It’s where we have always been strong and we are almost on par with Red Bull in the high-speed corners, it’s just the slow speed is letting us down at the minute.

“We understand it and know it’s our area to focus on and improve on. When it comes together, probably not this year but next year, I think we can do some good things.”

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