Rivals Horner and Wolff Name McLaren’s Norris an F1 Title Contender

Updated On May 21, 2024 by Landon Wheeler

Lando NorrisSummary:

  • Christian Horner and Toto Wolff praise McLaren’s Lando Norris progress.
  • The two consider Norris an F1 title contender.
  • The Briton chased down Max Verstappen for victory in the final laps at Imola, eventually finishing 0.725 seconds adrift.

Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner and CEO of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Torger “Toto Wolff” Christian, have agreed McLaren’s Lando Norris is a serious contender for the Formula 1 title.

In the same rare agreement the rival team principals found themselves, they praised Norris’ extraordinary progress in the last year.

Close Victory at Imola

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on Sunday after Lando Norris closely chased him down in the final laps.

The latter finished just 0.725 seconds behind Verstappen and said he could have won the race with just one or two extra laps.

Horner considers McLaren to be their main rival for the F1 title after the reversal of fortunes they witnessed.

He added McLaren “definitely added performance to their car” and “have made a step”, which is why they are expecting them to become more competitive “at all circuits

Horner was not shy to say they cannot take anything for granted, explaining the “margins are very fine” when asked if he thinks McLaren was currently in the title fight.

 

“Fantastic Recovery Story”

Christian Horner’s thoughts were perfectly echoed by his Mercedes counterpart, an unusual switch from the regular war of words they usually engage in.

Wolff called it a “fantastic recovery story” for McLaren that has come a long way from where they were a year ago, expressing “respect” for “how they have done things”.

He also explained that “more competition at the front is good for the sport” while emphasizing he was not envious of their rivals, but, “quite the contrary” regarding it as something they also “need to achieve”.

At the beginning of 2023, McLaren opened with a car that did not meet its aerodynamic targets and was off the pace. This led to Norris’ 17th finish in the opening two races.

A surprising turn of events and upgrades brought mid-season sent them into contention for podiums, eventually helping them cement their place at the front.

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