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Brown: Norris matches the talent of Alonso

McLaren boss Zak Brown says that Lando Norris has a lot of "natural talent" as the Briton prepares to lead the team in his fifth season in Formula 1.

Zak Brown has branded Lando Norris a "franchise" driver due to the amount of natural talent he possesses, believing he matches two-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso. The McLaren Chief Executive talked up the British driver ahead of his fifth season with the team, as he heads into 2023 as the senior driver over teammate Oscar Piastri. "Lando's a franchise driver," Brown told ESPN . "He's one of those guys if we put everyone in a dirt buggy and we put all the F1 drivers in a race, he'd be at the front because he's got that kind of natural talent. "He's a total star. And he's pushing us."

Norris up against Alonso in same car

Norris will be looking to build on his multiple podiums as he seeks his first race win in Formula 1, with Brown comparing him to former McLaren driver Alonso. Brown has made no secret about where he sees Norris' strengths in the team. The team boss also ran both the Briton and Alonso in his sportscar team, United Autosports, during the 2018 Daytona 24 Hours. "I think he is as good as anyone on the grid and I've felt that from day one when I put him against Fernando in the 24 Hours of Daytona, foreign car, foreign track," Brown explained. "I think Fernando is as good as any F1 driver there's ever been... and Lando matches him, and depending on what time of day it was, maybe he even got him a little bit, and vice versa. "You see that natural talent. You do get some drivers who are a one-make discipline and you throw them in a unique situation and they don't get up to speed as quickly."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Shootout