Lando Norris backed to succeed Lewis Hamilton as next British F1 star

Norris, 19, arrived on the scene amid much fanfare this year when McLaren handed him his F1 bow just like they did with Hamilton 12 years previously.

And the talented Somerset-born teenager has lived to his billing by enjoying an inspiring start to his debut season, while also putting McLaren on course for their best season since 2014.

After four top-ten finishes in his first nine F1 races, the youngster sits eighth in the drivers’ standings and now turns his attention to his home British Grand Prix this weekend.

Hamilton has flown the Union Jack alone at Silverstone for some time now but Sky Sports F1 pundit Johnny Herbert reckons Norris has all the ingredients to emulate the crowd favourite.

Herbert said: “Lando has been a standout performer of the year and at the moment, he is our second best Brit.

“He’s young, he’s a bloody nice guy and so easy to talk to – and he has got all the ingredients off the track to be attractive to teams and sponsors.

“But he is very attractive what he does on the track as well. As an overall package, he looks good for us.

“And he’s only going to get stronger – that’s the nice thing.

“He’s up against a pretty strong team mate in Carlos Sainz and he’s dealt with him very nicely.

“He’s really pushed him and come out of the blocks as he has done most of his career. Carlos has had to sort of wake up to Lando’s speed.”

Norris is regarded as the most exciting British talent since Hamilton arrived in F1 with McLaren in 2007 and missed out on a debut championship crown by just one point.

Former British driver Herbert, who secured the first of his three race wins at Silverstone, noted obvious differences between the pair but has been impressed by Norris’ instant impact.

He added: “He can emulate Lewis’ success to an extent. But I suppose the only difference when you’re comparing them is that Lewis came into a championship-winning car.

“Lewis jumped into a team against a two-time world champion and dealt with that pressure that he had under Fernando Alonso.

“And then the pressure from McLaren of winning races and fighting for titles, he dealt with it and nearly achieved the championship.

“It’s a little bit different because Lando hasn’t got that world champion next to him like Lewis had.

“But Lando has jumped in, done the job and that’s all you can do.”

Like Norris, Hamilton has produced a so-far flawless campaign to lead the title standings by 31 points in his bid for a sixth world title.

And Herbert has urged the British crowd to support the reigning champ – because he might not be in the sport for much longer.

“I think everybody should appreciate what they are watching now because this is something very special and very, very rare. He is a Brit and he’s going to be one of the all-time greats, maybe he’s going to beat the seven world titles that Michael Schumacher has got.

“He is a diverse sportsman. And I think they’re quite rare, especially rare in F1. Lewis, to me, is driving the best I have ever seen, and he has that WOW factor.”

The Silverstone Grand Prix is live on Sky Sports F1 HD from Thursday 11th July, 4.30pm.

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