Norris calls Verstappen ‘one of the best ever’ and shares padel results

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Norris calls Verstappen 'one of the best ever' and shares padel results

After a difficult start to the season, McLaren has gained a taste for a number of races. Lando Norris can regularly compete for second place, behind the unapproachable Max Verstappen. The Dutchman previously called Norris his best friend of all drivers, and managed to get the world champion for a game of padel with a few colleagues. As far as Norris is concerned, it would also be great to form a duo within a Formula 1 team.

Although McLaren has now found the speed, the results of the past two Grands Prix do not really show it yet. In Spa-Francorchamps, McLaren drove with far too much downforce on a dry circuit, and in Zandvoort things went strategically wrong in the wet opening phase. He is therefore somewhat wary when it comes to expectations for Monza. “I don’t have as much confidence as I’d like to have. We already saw in Spa how difficult it was for us. At Spa we could have been higher if we could do it again, and since then we have tried to further optimize the low downforce package for these types of circuits.

Like Mercedes and Aston Martin, McLaren is doing a bit better on the twistier circuits, according to Norris. “We don’t have as much confidence as in Zandvoort, Budapest or Silverstone yet, but it should definitely be better than in Spa, and that gives me hope. This has been one of our best weekends in the past, so hopefully it will be the same again.”

Norris is happy to take on the Verstappen challenge

While many of Verstappen’s former teammates saw their careers temporarily stalled, 23-year-old Norris would be up for the challenge to take on the 46-time Grand Prix winner. “I am certainly open to that in the future. I can and dare to say that Max (Verstappen, ed.) is probably one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1, “said the Briton. “I had never raced against him before in Formula 1, because I was always a class below him, but I already knew him well from karting. I met him in 2012 or 2013 and then I got to know him better.’

“I’ve seen what he can do, and it’s not just about the car he drives,” added Norris. “It always performs well, regardless of the car, and it will always continue to perform. Maybe the results will be different in a worse car, but his performance will always be great. In that regard, it would be great to work with him, then I can compete with him. I’m definitely open to it. I’ve even invited him to McLaren, so if he wants to come, he’s always welcome.’

Verstappen not unbeatable at a game of padel

Yesterday, Williams driver Alexander Albon showed on Instagram that he had played an afternoon of padel with Verstappen, Norris, and George Russell, so the results were also briefly inquired about. ‘My first partner was Alex (Albon, ed.). We dominated, but we thought that the teams were not evenly distributed, so then I had to play with Max, because he is the newest member of our padel group,” explains Norris. Then we won again. So the common denominator was that I won and George (Russell, ed.) lost’, laughs Norris.

“It was great fun, we had a great day. We occasionally play together,” said Norris. “I played with George last week, and a few more times before that. It’s fun to play together, and we get quite emotional sometimes. A lot of people were complaining about how much noise we were making, and how we were yelling and getting angry, but it was a fun day and a good way to start the weekend.”

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