McLaren CEO Zak Brown gave his verdict on driver Lando Norris’ season, saying that he proved himself against an established star in Daniel Ricciardo.
Norris spent a few seasons at McLaren, but 2021 saw the team sign Ricciardo. Many predicted the then seven-time race winner to be the main man, but his young British teammate took exception to that.
Instead, Norris outperformed the Australian for most of the season, whether it was qualifying or race days. However, peaks went to the former Red Bull driver, who had a race win to his name in 2021 as opposed to the youngster.
With McLaren reaching the final stages of their rebuild, the stage is set for their drivers to take the next step and challenge the elite. Brown gave his verdict on Norris’ season, saying that he matured into a world-class driver in 2021.
“We’ve always had, first and foremost, race-winning drivers and usually world champions,” he explained, as quoted by GP Fans.
“That was one of the appeals of getting Daniel in the car. Winning multiple grands prix gives you a bit of a benchmark and that demonstrates how good Lando is. That is not a surprise to us but you want that validation.”
“We now have two drivers capable of winning grands prix, one that has done it and one that will no doubt do it,” the American continued.
“And I don’t think you have to have a world champion in the car. I think what you need to have are two drivers that you think are capable of being world champions and I am very confident we have that.”