Nico Rosberg has suggested Lando Norris could turn out to be the absolute best among the current crop of young F1 talents.
That is some claim from the former World Champion considering Norris is up against Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and George Russell, all aged within a couple of years of the McLaren driver.
Each of that quartet will hope to eventually establish their own period of dominance in Formula 1, similar to what Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have achieved at different times within the past dozen years.
Verstappen, it could be argued, may even be on the way to doing so already, considering he is 63 points clear in his quest to make it back-to-back Drivers’ titles.
Norris, like Russell, has yet to win an F1 race. But that has not stopped Rosberg from predicting he might even turn out to be the pick of an impressive bunch establishing themselves as the sport’s leading stars.
In a discussion on Sky F1 about Norris’ struggling team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Rosberg said of the Briton: “He is one of the best of the next generation and potentially the best.
“I think in this case, more than bashing Daniel at this point in time we should just praise Lando, who is driving absolutely like a future World Champion.”
The team head to Hungary this week. 🇭🇺
Let's work hard to finish this half of the season with a flourish. We'll give it everything and leave it all on track. 👊 #HungarianGP
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 27, 2022
From his own perspective, Norris looks at dominant drivers down the ages of F1 and considers himself fortunate to be competing against Hamilton.
“You always hear the stories of when there was Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher and in this period it’s been Lewis,” said the 22-year-old, quoted by The Guardian.
“You hear about the battles he’s had, and those guys had with [Alain] Prost and [Nigel] Mansell. In 20 or 30 years’ time it will be the same about Lewis racing Seb and Max.
“Then somewhere there’s my name a bit further down…you take it for granted initially because you are doing your own thing, but in 30 years’ time that’s when you realise you were in a way lucky to be racing in that time.”
Norris and Hamilton have always enjoyed a good relationship and the younger of the two Britons has again praised the seven-time former World Champion.
“He’s well-liked,” he said. “He’s a nice person, he seems always to want to help the Brits and the young drivers.
“He gives advice with little things, asks what I’m planning. He has been through everything, so he knows what teams try to get out of you and what you should get out of teams. It’s small things, but he’s always willing to help.”