Norris Believes He Has 'What It Takes' To Challenge Verstappen For Title In 2024

F1
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 at 18:00
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McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris believes challenging the reigning world champion for the title is already possible this season.
Following his fourth second-place finish of the 2024 season, Lando Norris jumped Charles Leclerc in the Drivers' Championship and is now standing right behind the leading Max Verstappen.
Ever since McLaren introduced its upgrades in Miami, there has not been a race where Red Bull would seem faster than them. After the Spanish Grand Prix, it is safe to say that the Papaya car might be the most versatile on the grid at the moment, as it performs everywhere.
If we were to reset the Championship, both Red Bull and Max Verstappen would be more than worried. However, the triple World Champion currently has a 69-point lead over Norris.
The margin of 69 points is pretty comfortable, so is it possible for the 24-year-old McLaren driver to still catch up with the Dutchman? He told the media in Barcelona:

"I mean, I think so. I think we should have done better today. We should have got some points back on Max. Potentially, there was a chance to beat him in Canada."

"So two races that I finished second, and he's won. But Max needs to stop winning in order to achieve that. Yeah, even though I moved into second in the championship, that doesn't matter."

Norris clarified already in 2023 that he couldn't care if he was sixth or second in the Championship because only victory matters at the end of the day. He still stands by his previous statement.

"I couldn't care if I was second or tenth. It's more about the gap to what Max is, and he's still extending it at the minute, and that's something we can't afford to do or can't afford to kind of let him run away with it at this point of the season."

There are 14 Grand Prix weekends left in the 2024 season. If Norris wanted to beat Verstappen in the Championship, he would need to outscore the Dutchman by 4,6 points on average every single race weekend.
The 24-year-old was quite disappointed after the Spanish Grand Prix because he knew it was the second weekend in a row where he should have won and missed out on his opportunity. He added:

"But we can do. You know, if I just made some better decision in Canada and if I had a better start today, we could have won two races."

"And I know there's a lot of, and there kind of always has been a lot of 'shoulda, woulda, couldas', but we have what it takes. It's just about putting it all together."