Karun Chandhok believes Lando Norris is performing at an extremely high level, but isn’t yet quite a match for Max Verstappen.
Norris ended the 2023 season as a genuine consideration for Red Bull’s approach to races, having become a thorn in the side for Max Verstappen due to the competitiveness of the MCL60 improving dramatically in the second half of the year.
With the British driver leading multiple races and becoming no stranger to the podium, Norris wasn’t quite able to break his duck for a victory and is now tied with Nick Heidfeld for being the driver with the most podiums without a win.
Karun Chandhok: Lando Norris will get a win
Former F1 driver and now Sky F1 broadcaster Karun Chandhok believes it’s inevitable Norris will eventually get that elusive first win, having had to smile through the pain of seeing teammate Oscar Piastri score a ‘win’ in 2023 as the Australian rookie led the field home in the sprint race in Qatar.
“I think so. He’s driving so, so well, so consistently,” Chandhok said when asked about whether he finished 2023 as Verstappen’s closest challenger.
“There were those moments like qualifying in Qatar and in Mexico where he’s made errors so he’s still not yet operating at the level of Max is where he just seems, weekend in, weekend out, to be error-free.
“Lando will get a win, he will definitely get a win at some point.”
On the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast, pundits Alice Powell and Harry Benjamin shared Chandok’s opinion.
“That will just be incredible!” Powell said, saying Norris will get his first win sooner rather than later.
“I can hear the radio message from Lando now, that little high-pitched voice that he puts on when he’s super excited. He will get it.”
Benjamin agreed, saying: “McLaren are the second-best team, Norris is the second-best car right now and has been over the last couple of races.
“It will come for Lando Norris, I hope it comes for Norris, because what a day that will be. We all remember Russia a few years ago and the heartbreak that was and, right now, he’s doing everything he can and he said himself [at the end of 2023] that P2 was the best he could hope for.”
Sky’s Martin Brundle believes 2024 marks a line in the sand for Norris and that, should McLaren fall short once again next year, the British driver will have to put his loyalty aside to look after his own best interests once his contract is up.
“It’s a very small business, relatively speaking and your career whizzes past, you’ve got to keep your options open,” Brundle said.
“Loyalty pays, especially these days in F1 teams, you can build something together but if he sees another year out without a victory, he’ll have to, and in any event, he should be making sure he’s in the best possible place to win a world championship.”