Max Verstappen sent warning shot as Lando Norris makes confident claim amid Red Bull links | F1 | Sport

Lando Norris has sent a warning shot to his rivals ahead of the 2024 F1 season, insisting that his first Grand Prix win will arrive in the next 12 months as he plans to restore the McLaren name to the top step of the podium. 

The 24-year-old enjoyed his strongest F1 season to date in 2023, finishing sixth in the standings and leading McLaren to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings despite the team arriving at the season opener in Bahrain with the slowest car in the field. 

Along the way, Norris collected seven podium finishes and while six of these saw him classified in second place, his first race win still eluded him. Adding to his frustrations was the fortunes of rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri, who pipped Max Verstappen to victory in the sprint race in Qatar to take McLaren’s only win of the season. 

However, if McLaren’s pace after the summer break is anything to go by then Norris could be Verstappen and Red Bull’s closest challenger come the start of the 2024 season.

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Asked when he believes his first Grand Prix victory will arrive, Norris was feeling confident about both his own chances and that of his team, responding: “It’s going to be next year, and I’m with McLaren next year, I feel like we’re so close.

“We have a lot more things in place, we’ve got a few new guys who are starting as well, coming from other teams. Now, we’re in the strongest place we’ve been for probably the last 10 years.

“I feel like we’ve got more things to look forward to next year – we’ve finally got the wind tunnel properly going and so many things which are coming together more than ever. If there’s ever a time in my life, over the last five years, I want to be a bit more confident, it’s probably going into 2024.

“But we just need to start the season off well. This year we started off terribly and we’ve still ended up being very, very strong. So if we can start the season a little bit strong, at least, then I think it can be a great year.”

Despite the speculation linking him with an eventual move to Red Bull and the public statements of admiration from both Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, Norris remains committed to the team that gave him his F1 debut back in 2019 as he heads into his sixth season with McLaren.

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