Lando Norris hailed Max Verstappen as one of the greatest drivers in Formula 1 history and said he’d love to one day drive in the same team as the Dutchman, adding he’s even invited Verstappen to join McLaren.
Norris is 264 points behind Verstappen in the world championship ahead of the 2023 Italian Grand Prix, with the RB19 a level above McLaren across the season, but is one of the few drivers who could potentially match the Dutchman in equal machinery.
Verstappen is just a matter of races away from matching Ayrton Senna on three drivers’ championships and aims to set a record-breaking ten-race win streak at Monza.
“I can happily say that Max is probably one of the best drivers ever in the history of Formula One,” Norris told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com, ahead of the Italian GP.
“It would be great to work alongside someone like that, it’s definitely something I would be open to in the future and see where I can really stand against him.
“I’d be open for it, I’ve invited him to McLaren the other day. So if he wants to come and sign he’s very welcome.”
“I never raced against him until I was into F1 but in karting I already knew him reasonably well, 2012 or 2013 was the first time I got to meet him and get to know him so I’ve been able to witness what he’s doing.
“And I think it’s not just that he’s in a good car, I think no matter what car he’s in, he’d be able to perform at a similar level.”
Norris: A pleasure to race against Hamilton
Really laying the compliments on thick ahead of the Italian GP, Norris added Lewis Hamilton is also one of the greatest ever in F1 and is pleased he’ll get to race against the seven-time champion for at least two more years.
Mercedes announced both Hamilton and George Russell will continue at the team until the end of 2025, when the former will be nearly 41 years old.
Hamilton was flying the flag for Brits in F1 throughout Norris‘ junior career, but since Norris received McLaren‘s upgrade at the 2023 Austrian GP, the young pretender has beaten the master in three out of five races.
“It’s great, it’s always been a pleasure to race against him,” Norris added. “Even this year, we’ve had a few more battles and that’s a cool thing to race against someone who’s one of the best drivers ever in F1 and has created a lot of history.
“He’s someone who I looked up to when I was a little kid and still get the chance to race against him now. So I’m happy we’ll continue to do so for a couple more years.”