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Brown ranks Norris amongst Hamilton, Verstappen and F1's best

Zak Brown has lauded Lando Norris for his efforts on and off the track after he claimed the team's first podium of the 2022 season at Imola.

McLaren boss Zak Brown has asserted that the "unbelievably fast" Lando Norris is "as good as anyone" on the current Formula 1 grid. Norris made his F1 debut with McLaren in 2019 and - alongside the team's gradual return to the sharp end - has developed from a consistent points scorer into a podium finisher. Last season, a run of four rostrums marked his most competitive outing yet, with the Briton also coming close to a maiden victory, having led the Russian Grand Prix until late rainfall scuppered his race.

Brown: As far as pure talent, Norris has as much as anyone

Fresh from Norris securing his and McLaren's first podium of the campaign at Imola, Brown offered plenty of positive words about the 22-year-old. "I mean, he is, in my opinion, as good as anyone in Formula 1," Brown told the F1 Nation podcast. "[He's] unbelievably fast. But there's a lot of fast drivers in Formula 1. I think the part I'm most impressed [about] with Lando is how few mistakes he makes. "His mistakes are small; a track limits [breach], [a] locked up a brake. You haven't seen him many times put the car in the fence, [or] run wide of a corner under pressure and make a mistake. "I think as far as pure, natural talent, he has as much as anyone in Formula 1."

Norris puts his faith in McLaren for the long-term

Brown also praised Norris' qualities off the track, and his extended commitment to McLaren through 2025 , as the team work towards challenging for more podiums, wins and, ultimately, world titles. "He's a very humble, loyal, fun guy, who likes a family atmosphere," added Brown. "He's raised very well. He's very close with his family, [and] his family are a great group of people. "I think he knows we don't have the fastest car on the grid and that's why he signed up for as long as he did, [as] he knows we'll get there, he believes in us, and he really enjoys the environment. "I think as long as we continue to show forward progress, he'll be satisfied that his win is not far away."

Brown: Norris could have won three races in a row last year

Brown reckons Norris could already be a multiple Grand Prix winner had certain events gone his way during the 2021 season. "He could have won three races in a row last year," added Brown. "In Monza, there was nothing between he and Daniel. In Russia, had it not been for the call at the end of the race, that was his to win. At Spa, he was the fastest person in qualifying by some margin, all the way up until he had his accident, so he could have won three on the trot. "He's ready to win, for sure. We just need to put him in a position to win."

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