Lando Norris Pips Lewis Hamilton to Be Declared as Max Verstappen’s Biggest Threat for 2024
After Abu Dhabi 2021, all everyone wants to see is another title showdown between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Alas, Mercedes has been nowhere near Red Bull in terms of performance. McLaren was the closest team at the end of the 2023 F1 season. And now, Lewis Hamilton has been left in the dust as Lando Norris is advised to be Max Verstappen’s biggest threat for the 2024 F1 season. Let’s get into the details of it.
Lewis Hamilton resigned with Mercedes last year after rumors of the 7X champ moving ships to Ferrari. Nonetheless, Hamilton stayed loyal to Mercedes and fired a jarring statement after signing the new contract. “We still have unfinished business”. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that this statement was pointed toward Max Verstappen and Red Bull as the Briton continues to pursue the now mythical-looking 8th Championship.
But Ralf Schumacher has now come out to advise on McLaren and Lando Norris’ 2024 threat and Mercedes’ poor performances in the last couple of seasons. Mercedes’ W13 and W14 were way off the pace of the leader i.e. Red Bull. With Red Bull starting the development of 2024 way earlier than the competitors, it is expected that they’ll start the season in the same fashion as 2023. Whereas for Lewis Hamilton to challenge, he’ll require Mercedes to pull off a miracle and find heaps of performance in the limited time they’ve had with W15.
According to the Formula for Success podcast, when Eddie Jordan asked if Ralf Schumacher sees anyone competing with Verstappen in 2024, he replied, “It all depends on the car. I think Mercedes if they find it back. They still have to prove because you know for me, how difficult it is, and they looked very up and down on performance. McLaren could be possible.” He continued, “Lando [Norris] is an amazing racer. But sometimes he wants a bit too much in qualifying. He could be the one I think to challenge Max [Verstappen]”
Nonetheless, James Allison and Toto Wolff had heaps of praise for the W15. Let’s see what they’re saying.
“More friendly to us”: James Allison and Toto Wolff show faith in Mercedes’ 2024 competitor
After last year’s revamp and removal of the Zeropods, Mercedes seems to have been improving at a steady pace. While nowhere near the Red Bull, the self-development was impressive. And it seems the car is only going to take bigger steps for the 2024 season as Toto Wolff and James Allison spoke highly of the W15 in recent interviews.
James Allison said, “What we do have some hope for is that some of the more spiteful characteristics of the rear end of our car will be a bit more friendly to us, and the handling of the car a happier thing. On top of that [handling], you’ve got all the normal housekeeping type stuff of just making it lighter, making it more ‘downforcy’ and hopefully getting a bit of uplift from the power unit side, with the calibration level tinkering that they’re still capable of doing under these current rules.”