Lando Norris could be challenging for a maiden race win in 2023, predicts former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer

Formula 1 Testing in Abu Dhabi - Day One
Lando Norris is yet to win a race in his F1 career

Lando Norris will be "knocking on the door" for his maiden race win in the 2023 season if McLaren can keep up with the best teams in the circuit, according to former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer. The 23-year-old Briton had a splendid 2022 — finishing seventh in the driver's standings — with his ablility to compete any higher up the grid only limited by his car.

With McLaren having another season to process and understand the new regulations, Norris should be in a much better position to challenge for a win next season. Especially since these new set of regulations are supposed to converge the F1 field and close the gaps between teams.

Farewell Andreas! It's been mega working with you these last few years. I've never seen our team looking as strong as it is now and some of that is credit to the work you've done. Best of luck in the new job mate, I’m sure I’ll see you around.

In his recent post-season column on F1's official website, Palmer praised his compatriot for "another stellar season".

"It was another stellar season for the McLaren driver, who barely put a foot wrong all campaign to finish comfortably best of the rest in the standings and almost single-handedly take the fight to Alpine in the Constructors’ Championship,” Palmer said.

Palmer hopes that the gap between the best teams and the others will reduce next season, and expects that will help the McLaren driver having a realistic shot at his first win.

“The gap between the best and the rest was bigger than anticipated in 2022, something I hope will close up from next season to give more of the midfielders opportunities. But it was only Norris who managed a podium outside of the top three teams, with his drive to third in Imola.” he added.
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Palmer futher stated that while there were more standout moments for Norris in 2021, he "took his performance to another level" last season.

“Out-qualified only once by the departing Daniel Ricciardo, it seemed Norris took his performance to another level, even if the standout moments weren’t as exceptional as last year. With a long-term contract in place, he’ll be hoping for a leap in performance from his team next season. If that comes, I expect Norris to be knocking on the door of that maiden race win once again.”

Can Lando Norris win a race next season?

Norris was agonizingly close to winning a race in 2021, when a late rain shower in Sochi denied him a richly-deserved victory. However, the McLaren driver is widely considered as a special talent, and in the right car, he could have already won a race or even challenged for titles.

The limiting factor for Norris is the car he drives, as McLaren was not up to par in 2022. The team has been a shining light in the midfield for the last few years and if it is able to produce a car that closes the gap to the top, then a win is a possibility. If that is not the case, Norris could struggle to win a race next season.

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Edited by Shubham Banerjee
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