Lando Norris thinks he’s been ready to stand on the top step of the podium all year, even though he came agonizingly close to winning in Sochi.
The McLaren driver had been impressive this season, but was denied a first win in Sochi due to changing weather conditions, deciding to stay out on dry tyres before sliding to P7 as the rain increased and he struggled to get around.
He came closest to winning in Monza by finishing second behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo, but he is still determined to win soon.
Norris claimed that now that he has been in a winning position in Formula 1 for a significant portion of the race, he has been in a place where he knew he was ready to be all season – but he stopped short of predicting a title challenge next year.
“I don’t think Russia made me suddenly think I’m able to win a race,” Norris said. “I felt already capable earlier on in the season, almost for the whole of this year.
“It’s hard to know until you are in that position, to really get that feeling of what it’s like leading a race, the pressure, the decision making, it is always different if you’re leading to whether you are second, third or fourth or whatever.
“I always in the time I think if I have done a good job or not, or I feel like I know if I’ve done a good job or not, and definitely a lot more throughout this whole season, even whether it is FP1 or FP2, but then more importantly the qualifying and the race, I feel like I can come out of it and be satisfied with the job I’ve done.
“And now it’s not just that I have a good race or a good qualy, it’s I have a good weekend, then a lot more of them as well.”
Norris has had one of the most impressive seasons of any driver on the grid thus far this year, having finished on the podium four times and remaining in 4th position in the Drivers’ standings, ahead of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull.
Despite the fact that he has yet to win his maiden race, the McLaren driver believes that his experience in Russia will only help him in the coming.
“I’m happy with the job I’m doing, but I know there are still many things for me to work on, many more situations which arise which will be new to me, like in Sochi it was still a new situation for me,” he said.
“So experiencing these kinds of things is only going to be helping me for the future.”
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