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Norris compared to the likes of Schumacher and Alonso by McLaren boss Andrea Stella

Norris picked up another podium last weekend at the Circuit of the Americas with a P2 finish

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McLaren Team Principal Andreas Stella believes Lando Norris has the talent to compete with legends of the sport like Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. 

Lando Norris, McLaren
Stella believes that Norris can be up there with the likes of Schumacher and Alonso in a more competitive car. Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images

McLaren have turned their fortunes around in the second half of the 2023 season. The Woking team were struggling to achieve points in the early stages of the campaign. However, after 19 rounds, they find themselves on 242 points and in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Norris claimed his sixth podium in 2023 last time out in Formula 1 at Austin. Despite finishing the United States Grand Prix in P3, his position would be upgraded to P2 after both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified from the race for breaching the technical regulations.

Norris has stated that McLaren’s next target is to catch Ferrari, who are 80 points ahead of them. With only four races remaining this season, can the British driver push his team to a third-place finish in the Constructors standings?

Norris has the ingredients to be on a world championship level

Stella has continued to heap praise on Norris despite still not winning a race in F1. However, speaking to recently on the Beyond the Grid podcast, the McLaren boss believes the 23-year-old has what it takes, with a competitive car, to be on the same level as Schumacher and Alonso, who he has previously worked with in his career.

“I think the ingredients for Lando to be able to succeed, like these drivers have been able to succeed, are coming together,” said Stella.

“When it is about natural speed, I think Lando can compete with some of these big names like Schumacher or Fernando Alonso.”

“The real success factor is in making the race craft bigger and bigger, creating as much as possible adaptability, because you’re never going to have the perfect car. You’re never going to have the perfect situation. It can happen.”

“We want to succeed even when there’s a 50/50 probability to do that, then you want to make the difference through your continuous improvement, adaptability, understanding the situation better than your competitors, and gaining a competitive advantage.”

“Definitely Lando is on a very strong path from this point of view, and I think the evidence is that as soon as we gave him a car that was able to compete for podiums, he just achieved it.”

“He’s clearly there. I think if anything, it’s more on us now to give him the machinery to be able to capitalise on his own qualities.”

Next up on the calendar is the Mexico City Grand Prix. With Norris achieving podiums in his last four races, he’ll be hoping to achieve this again or go one better this weekend, as he looks to close the gap on his former teammate Carlos Sainz in the Drivers’ Championship, who sits just 12 points ahead of him in fifth place.

Feature Image Credit: (Photo by Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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