Brundle feels for Norris: ‘It could so easily have been his’

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Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo receive their trophies after the Italian Grand Prix. Italy September 2021

McLaren pair Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo receive their trophies after the Italian Grand Prix. Italy September 2021

Martin Brundle feels for Lando Norris after the Brit had to settle for second place behind his team-mate at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Brit secured his best-ever result in Formula 1 at Monza, crossing the line P2 to give his team their first 1-2 finish in over a decade.

It could’ve so easily been even better though, with him finishing less than two seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo and possessing similar pace to the Aussie all weekend.

Ultimately, the McLaren driver was asked to hold position by his team in the closing stages, and so we’ll never know if he could have claimed his first win if allowed to race.

While Brundle says issuing team orders was the right call, he can’t help but feel a little sorry for his compatriot.

“I felt for Lando Norris, it could so easily have been his first victory,” the former driver said in his column for Sky Sports.

“Outqualifying Ricciardo by a few thousandths of a second, but his Sprint start didn’t work out quite so well and so he lined up behind his team-mate.

“He did suggest a couple of times that he could go faster than Daniel but the team quite rightly recognised the Aussie had the big picture and long game sorted up front, and held station with their two drivers.”

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Norris has been one of the most impressive drivers of the season so far, doing enough to currently occupy P4 in the Drivers’ Championship just ahead of Sergio Perez and a long way ahead of the rest of the midfield.

Brundle is a big fan of his wheel-to-wheel racing in particular and has no doubts that the 21-year-old will make it to the top step of the podium at some point in the future.

“Norris’s youthful and almost choir boy looks and demeanour are a very light veneer over an extremely brave racer,” he added.

“His move past Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari at Curva Grande, partly on the grass at one point, was totally fearless.

“Without his crash through saturated Eau Rouge up to Raidillon he would have had a mighty qualifying and therefore result in the previous non-race in Spa too.

“As Lando says, his time will come and he’s one of the hottest properties in F1 right now.”


PlanetF1 verdict


McLaren masterclass at the Italian GP

What a weekend for McLaren! Mature drives from both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris to take 1-2.