Disheartened Lando Norris rules out any chance of an F1 race win soon

Lando Norris has had limited chances to claim his maiden F1 win since 2019 and doesn't expect to see the top step on the podium anytime soon

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After the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, a Formula 1 win for Lando Norris felt like an eventual inevitability, but it has all the echoes of Nico Hulkenberg’s career and the British driver doesn’t think that maiden victory will come anytime soon.

Norris has now made over a century of F1 race starts and it has been almost three years on since that fateful rain-stricken day at the Sochi Autodrom, but the win continues to remain elusive despite all of his teammates in the sport managing to stand on the top step of the podium in sort form during their F1 careers.

So, when will it finally be his time? Could it happen at the 2024 Chinese GP as the sport returns to Shanghai for the first time in five years with just one hour of practice to get the car right? Could that catch Red Bull napping at the wheel? The 24-year-old has essentially ruled it out.

“It’s not coming anytime soon, that’s for sure,” Norris told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com ahead of the 2024 Chinese GP. “But I think we can get there, in the right place and at the right time, if we improve the car in the right way.”

Lando Norris speaks to Max Verstappen ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Clive Rose / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Lando Norris speaks to Max Verstappen ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Clive Rose / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

When could Lando Norris have won in F1?

Across his career, the British racer has had three good chances to claim his maiden win in F1, but they have all despairingly slipped through his fingers and straight into the hands of his rivals.

The three races in question are the 2021 Italian GP, the 2021 Russian GP and the 2023 Qatar GP, all races saw McLaren surprisingly closer to the front than they actually expected to be.

At Monza, McLaren turned the two-way title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen into a four-way one-off battle for the win but, of all the races for him to find his old form, Daniel Ricciardo managed to claim victory when the team issued orders to hold position to earn their first win since 2012.

Then Norris’ next chance came just 14 days later in Sochi. He took a surprising pole position in Russia, ahead of Hamilton with Verstappen starting at the back due to a grid and engine penalty.

Norris lost the lead at the start to Sainz but regained it on Lap 13 and held the “true” lead of the race from there until Lap 47 when it began to rain. Throwing all of the knowledge learned from the previous 46 laps out of the window, the race began about who could keep it on the road and who trusted their teams the most.

Norris seemed to have the edge, but then Hamilton pitted for intermediates and the rain worsened and the win slid away on Lap 50, literally, when the young McLaren driver could no longer keep his car on the road, three laps away from his dream.

His most recent chance to win came at the 2023 Qatar GP in Losail. A mistake in the final corner in the Sprint Shootout by Norris allowed Oscar Piastri to take first position, which the Australian rookie duly converted to a win later on that Saturday.

Whilst in the Qatar Grand Prix itself, Norris qualified 10th following a lap time deletion in Qualifying, that was good enough for second, as the team missed out on the chance to qualify second and third for the race at the high-speed circuit.

He went on to finish just six seconds behind Verstappen, who took pole, showing that there was actually some serious pace in that McLaren car and it might have even been the quickest one over the weekend as another opportunity escaped him.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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