MARCH 18, 2021

Norris could surprise in 2021 says Russell

Lando Norris could be a "surprise" of the 2021 season.

Lando Norris, Bahrain test 2021
© McLaren

Lando Norris could be a "surprise" of the 2021 season.

That is the prediction of his friend and countryman George Russell, who races for Williams but is obviously eyeing Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes seat for 2022.

"I think Lewis will stay, but the question is whether he wants to," Russell said.

So for the time being at least, 23-year-old Russell is resigned to life near the back of the grid.

"The worst case is that we will be the same as last year, but even then we were in better shape than in 2019," he said.

"Ferrari though has made progress with the engine so our rivals will be better too. At best, we will compete with other teams in the middle of the peloton."

One of Russell's contemporaries, though, could be on the cusp of a F1 breakthrough in 2021, as Lando Norris' McLaren appears to be among the best cars behind Red Bull and Mercedes.

"Daniel (Ricciardo) is a difficult teammate," Russell said. "But I think Lando will surprise many people.

"He is starting his third season in Formula 1, all of them with McLaren. He knows the team, the engineers, the car. Daniel will be in the fight with his teammate, but Lando is very fast with a lot of experience in the team.

"I think he will surprise a lot of people this year," he added.