Lando Norris thinks he and George Russell are fully capable of continuing British success in F1 when Lewis Hamilton retires.
Britain has an illustrious history of Formula 1 success having provided 10 different World Champions – Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jenson Button and, of course, Hamilton.
While there is every chance Hamilton will eventually leave the sport as comfortably the most successful driver in history, Norris is convinced he and his fellow young gun Russell can pick up the mantle for their country.
Both have shown they possess the talent, with Norris finishing third for McLaren in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix amid a highly promising first two seasons of his F1 career, while Russell shone when deputising in Hamilton’s Mercedes at the Sakhir Grand Prix when the World Champion was suffering from COVID-19.
Asked in an interview with Sky F1 whether he and Russell can fill the gap when Hamilton calls it a day, Norris replied: “I think so. I want to believe in that. I don’t often believe in myself but I want to believe that in the future years we can lead the way in some ways, not just within Formula 1 but for the UK, for our country.
“Lewis has set a great example for that. I think there’s a lot of things we need to follow that he’s set a very good example of.
“We’ll see. It’s a big burden. He’s a very good figure and a great person. Lewis is a great guy for both myself and George to look up to.”
Norris was also questioned about his relationship with Daniel Ricciardo before the Australian joins as his team-mate for 2021 following Carlos Sainz’s departure to Ferrari.
The new McLaren pairing are seen as two of the biggest jokers on the grid, leading to suggestions their partnership could yield as much fun as Norris and Sainz enjoyed in their two years working together.
“We talk sometimes, probably not as much as people think,” Norris said, referring to Ricciardo. “We’ve had some good battles and with Renault in general.
“We are good mates. We’ve had some good laughs in press conferences and interviews. I’m sure next year and in the future we will have some good times together.
“But it’s also a good moment for me to learn from him. He’s a multiple race winner, multiple podium sitter and there will be a lot of opportunities for me to make myself a better driver.”