It felt strange listening to commentators salivating over George Russel and his Q3 qualification in the British GP. The commentators were speaking as if he was the second coming of Jesus and would change the sport forever. Sure, Russel is a good driver with great prospects but he is not the best young driver on the grid. That accomplishment goes to Lando Norris. He has not just outclassed his teammate Daniel Ricciardo but continues to obliterate his challenge in the likes of Bottas, Perez, Leclerc and others. Currently, he sits comfortably at 3rd place in the Drivers Standings with 113 points.
He has dragged Mclaren to the third spot in the constructor’s standings as well. A team that got just 2 points after 10 races in 2017 now sits comfortably at 163. Lando has bagged around 70% of his team’s points this year. A big reason why Mclaren are sitting comfortably at the top despite their star driver Ricciardo underperforming is due to the meteoric rise of Lando Norris.
This infographic shows Mclarens points tally after 10 races since 2017. A team that could only muster 2 points after 10 races has bagged 163 this year. The likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin and others would give a leg to have a points tally like that. The astonishing change in the fortunes of Mclaren can be seen in the body language of their staff as well as drivers.
This videos of Lando Norris talking to the race engineer after British GP sums up their change of temperament. Earlier, the team could have been very happy finishing 4th in the race. They celebrated like a race win whenever they finished 5th or better in the previous years. But not anymore! Not just they don’t celebrate 4th anymore, but Lando could be heard annoyed by not finishing 3rd. Given he was comfortably sitting at 3rd position before his bad pit stop, his annoyance is justified too.
This shows how far Lando Norris has come from the days of mediocrity. Even Lewis Hamilton cannot resist praising the young driver. While I knew Lando to be a good driver, his rise has surprised many people on the grid. Everyone was expecting him to play second fiddle to the experienced Daniel Ricciardo but he has so far overshadowed him in every race this year. To even think that George Russel is the best young driver on the grid is blasphemy!