Norris: Catching Verstappen more likely

By Sports Desk June 21, 2024

Max Verstappen is still the favourite to win the Formula One world title, but Lando Norris is more confident that the Red Bull driver can be caught.

Verstappen is in the hunt for his fourth straight world championship crown, and leads the drivers' standings with five race wins to his name in 2024.

However, only 31 points separate the Dutchman, who is on 169, and second-placed Charles Leclerc, while McLaren's Norris sits third with 113 following his victory in Miami last month.

Mercedes, meanwhile, have come back into contention in recent races, with both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton impressing in qualifying, albeit they have been unable to translate that into a victory as of yet.

But with more contenders, Norris feels the field is opening up.

"There is more chance and possibilities now, especially if Mercedes are in the fight; more chance of having a bigger swing of points." he said, as per BBC Sport, ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

"A bad weekend for Max was third but it could be fifth or sixth.

"And if you can be the guy who wins, within one weekend you can turn quite a lot of points around fairly quickly. If it goes like that, there is a higher chance."

Norris conceded, though, that Verstappen is still at the very top of his game.

He added: "Max's bad weekend is never going to be a bad weekend. It's still going to be a good amount of points. He is just strong in all areas. It is rare he makes mistakes or messes up qualifying.

"But with more pressure you never know how that changes, and always with pressure it is always easier to make mistakes."

In the world of Mercedes, Hamilton has urged the team's fans to give backing to Russell, who has faced accusations of the team favouring him, given his team-mate is set to join Ferrari next season.

"I think they know if you look over the years, we've always been a strong team. We've always worked really hard together," Hamilton told reporters.

"I think we need support, not negativity, and I wasn't actually aware that George was experiencing negativity.

"George has done nothing but his best every single weekend and is delivering for the team, so he can't be faulted at all.

"Of course, there can always be things done better within the team, and that comes through conversation, through communication, and that's something that we are consistently working on.

"But we're all in the same boat. We're all working hard together. We want to finish on a high and feel that we owe that to our long-term relationship that we've had."

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