Lando Norris sends championship leader Max Verstappen future warning shot

Lando Norris test drives the McLaren Elva during development

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Lando Norris believes he could give Max Verstappen a “run for his money” if they were in the same F1 machinery, as the championship leader looks to repeat last weekend’s heroics ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Victory at the Styrian Grand Prix over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton gave the Dutchman an 18 point lead heading into round eight this weekend, as the championship battle heats up between the pair.

Meanwhile, in the midfield battle, Norris has hugely impressed this season for McLaren, with two podiums for the team, and remains the only driver in the field to score points at every round so far.

And sitting in the same car as the Red Bull man, the 21-year-old reckons he’d be a stronger contender.

“100%, I believe I could give him [Max] a run for his money,” Norris told Sky Sports F1.

“There are just different scenarios and situations where experience comes into play and you think ‘maybe he would have the upper hand on me in that scenario’ and I believe he [Max] is one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1.

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“I think he has proven that since he joined when he was 16 or 17 years old.”

Norris dropped to fourth in the standings thanks to Sergio Perez’s strong form over the last few races,

However, the Briton did conclude that Silverstone will be a huge boost for him, as he looks to impress in front of home fans.

Silverstone confirmed they would run the British Grand Prix at full capacity, something Norris backed.

“I have quite a few fans, I’m sure there are probably more Lewis Hamilton fans than Lando Norris, but it’s growing, it really is awesome to see people showing their support and things like that,” Norris told Express Sport.

“I do my live streaming on Twitch every now and then, which they also love.

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“So I know I have a lot of people supporting me, I’m happy they can get to a race because they’ve wanted to for a while.

“I’m also quite confident we’re in a good position and have a good race, hopefully, the weather is good too – nice and sunny, it can just be a cool weekend all round.

“I’m really looking forward to it, I think even just the drive in you know? The drive in from the front gate all the way to the paddock, seeing the fans along the side, and walking in and you just people in their deck chairs and things like that.

“You miss that side of Formula One.

“And it’s hard for people to realise that until you do miss out, like we did for the past two times we raced last season, and everywhere we went last season.

“And you still miss out now, but they’re slowly starting to reintroduce people, and we’re going to have even more next weekend, before Silverstone, it already just feels a lot cooler and a lot more special.

“You feel a little bit more nervous, and you’re seeing the fans on the grid and things like that, so of course it’s going to be more special than anything because it’s the British fans and just seeing some people with Norris on their shirt and things like that.

“You never really think that’s going to happen, and you dream of it when you’re a little kid of things like that happening.

“Hopefully there’s a few of those and I look forward to those kinds of things, it means a lot to us as drivers, it’s not just cool to drive a Formula One car, but to see the support and the fans there also means a lot to me.”

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