IMPRESSIVE F1 rookie Lando Norris has urged Lewis Hamilton to “stick around” in the sport until McLaren are competing at the front again so that the two British drivers can race each other.
Norris and Hamilton are both enjoying superb seasons; the McLaren youngster has made a dazzling start to his career, while Hamilton is on course for a sixth world title and nearing Michael Schumacher’s records.
But although McLaren have made huge improvements in F1 2019, Norris believes he won’t be able to battle Hamilton wheel-to-wheel for at least another two years – and the world champion’s current contract at Mercedes expires at the end of next season.
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Hamilton has spoken of a desire to continue, most recently at Silverstone.
“That’s something I would like, to be able to fight against Lewis,” Norris told Sky Sports News.
“A five-time world champion, possibly six this year.
“But it’s a good two years before we’re having a chance to fight them.
“I’m sure he’s probably going to stick around especially when he’s got chances of winning championships and making history. It’s something I would look forward to, being able to race him.”
Although Hamilton is currently racking up the wins at Mercedes, he also started his F1 career at McLaren and spoke glowingly about Norris during the British GP weekend.
Norris has twice qualified in the top six, leading teammate Carlos Sainz 7-3 in the head-to-heads, while he is currently ninth in the drivers’ standings.
“Lando’s progression is incredibly impressive,” said Hamilton.
“To be so young in such an early phase, he’s coming in and keeping a level head and delivering on weekends, also up against a driver who’s got more experience than him.”
Addressing Norris and fellow British rookie George Russell, Hamilton added: “I’m personally excited to continue to watch these two grow. I do hope that we get to do some racing together.”
Sainz: McLaren haven’t cleared midfield
A fierce British GP battle with Renault has handed McLaren the “realisation” that they have not cleared the midfield yet, according to Sainz.
McLaren beat Renault, their engine suppliers, in the France-Austria double header and were even challenging Red Bull, but while Sainz finished sixth at Silverstone the French team were a lot closer.
“The only thing that we know is that we haven’t cleared the midfield yet,” Sainz admitted to Sky F1.
“Many people wanted us to be already clear of the midfield, but we haven’t.
“We are still there with the Renaults, one race they will be quicker, one race we will be quicker. [At Silverstone] they were quicker.
“Austria and Paul Ricard were really good tracks, we were definitely fourth-fastest no problem. This last one was not a wake-up call, but a realisation that we haven’t cleared the midfield yet.
“We need to keep bringing little bits to the car to improve that low speed. It’s going to be interesting to see with the Renaults.”