Damon Hill has hailed Lando Norris as being a very special talent, and believes the future is bright in terms of British F1 drivers.
Norris is the only driver to have scored points at every race in the 2021 season and had perhaps his strongest weekend yet at the Austrian Grand Prix, where he qualified in second on the grid and went on to secure his third podium finish of the year, despite receiving a five-second penalty from the stewards for an incident with Sergio Perez at the beginning of the race. Following strong displays like this, Hill is convinced that Norris is the real deal.
"Jeremy Clarkson tweeted, 'Is Lando the real deal?'" Hill told the F1 Nation podcast. "And Zak [Brown] replied with 'I'm saying he is', which he clearly did quite a while ago.
"And the irony was of course that Derek [Warwick], who was so into this young driver programme, the BRDC Autosport star of tomorrow thing, when Lando turned up he just said, 'This guy's amazing', and he was raging about him, and then he gave him a five-second penalty, so that must have been tough to do that. But I'm sure he's got good reason.
"But Lando is very, very special. There's no doubt about it. And we're talking about George Russell as well, we're talking about British drivers, coming into the British Grand Prix. The future is definitely very bright."
Whilst Hill highly rates both Norris and Williams driver Russell, he feels it would be unfair to compare the two.
"I don't want to have to choose because I think Lando's had the opportunity now to prove, as has George," the 1996 Formula 1 World Champion explained. "He's led Grand Prix. Both of them are just phenomenal."
Norris currently sits in fourth place in the Drivers' Championship with 101 points, only three points behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez in third.