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Lando Norris

Norris: Russell was lucky to get that opportunity with Mercedes

The McLaren driver has praised his compatriot and is aware of comparisons being made between himself and Russell. He also opened up on the inevitable rivalry between him and new teammate Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren.

Lando Norris
To news overview © McLaren

Lando Norris believes comparisons against himself and George Russell are a good thing for his Formula 1 career. The 21-year-old, who enters his third season with McLaren, rates Russell highly but said the Williams driver was fortunate to get the chance to race with Mercedes at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year.

Russell substituted for Lewis Hamilton at the penultimate event of the 2020 season after the seven-time world champion tested positive for coronavirus. He was on course for victory until a safety car and a subsequent puncture put an end to his impressive run.

"I know George he's a good driver and a strong guy," said Norris to Sky Sports. "I think everyone was gutted for that one race he did with Mercedes but he was also lucky to get that opportunity.

"He will maximise everything he can do with Williams, I don't believe there's anything he will struggle with. Hopefully we can have some nice battles this year, hopefully we will be a bit ahead, but I'm sure there will be some little battles along the way."

"Being compared to George isn't a bad thing in my opinion, I know how good a driver he is and I look forward to our future in Formula 1 together."

Norris also thinks his rivalry with new teammate Daniel Ricciardo will be a fierce one. The pair are two of F1's most colourful characters although Ricciardo is expected to lead the McLaren charge once he gets up to speed. Norris says there are no excuses if his teammate has the upper hand.

"I don't think him not being with the team makes any difference," added Norris. "I don't want to use the 'he has 11 years of experience' as an excuse to say that's why he might have beaten me.

"I think it's going to be a fierce battle between us, I'm excited for our teammate rivalry that we will have which will obviously be a good one.

"But he is still a guy I can learn from, that won't change race results or how we both go racing. "We're both still learning every day and improving our driving."


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