Two-time World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi has tipped Lando Norris to succeed Lewis Hamilton as Britain’s racing megastar.
Hamilton heads into the 2020 season searching to make history – one more title will make him a seven-time World Champion, putting him level with Michael Schumacher at the top of Formula 1.
But the Briton’s contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the year, and now aged 35, it’s generally accepted that Hamilton is moving into the later stages of his F1 career.
But once he does eventually hang up the gloves, is anyone waiting in the wings to take over as Britain’s next racing hero?
Well, Fittipaldi believes Norris will be that man, tipping the McLaren driver to lock horns with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in a battle for F1 supremacy.
“Lando Norris has all the ingredients to be a champion. He’s World Championship title material for sure,” he told Standard Sport.
“He’s very talented, he’s been very successful in karting and other formula and it’s great to see another British challenger come along.”
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Of course something that could complicate that for Norris is his machinery.
Verstappen has a long-term deal signed with Red Bull who are in the hunt for victories, whilst Leclerc has the same security with Ferrari for whom he won two races in 2019 during his first season with the team.
McLaren meanwhile did make improvements in 2019, but still they are some way off challenging for wins on merit.
The McLaren Group have also encountered financial difficulties in recent months.
But Fittipaldi is convinced that McLaren are back on the right path and that Norris will be the surprise title contender in the coming years.
“McLaren came back very strong last year,” he said.
“We know already that Verstappen and Leclerc are showing their potential but you have to say Lando Norris as well.
“There’s so many great talents, he’s right up there for me and part of a new golden era. Lando is maybe the unknown of the three but for me he’s as much World Champion material as the other two.”
But, Fittipaldi also made it clear that he doesn’t think Hamilton is anywhere close to being done.
“There’s still much more winning ahead of him, he’s going to create history,” he said.
“The numbers don’t lie.”
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