For many he was being the pilot of the year. Lando Norris looked Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton face to face in the race to be the best driver of the 2021 season, but his performance has again suffered an inexplicable slump in the second half of the season. And it’s not the first time. It has been at the mercy of the horses, specifically those of Ferrari.
Now both Charles Leclerc as Carlos Sainz dream of getting a position that until a few races seemed impossible: the fifth. And it is not trivial, since it is the position that proves who has been the best driver of the season among those who do not drive a Mercedes or a Red Bull. Formula 1.5.
Norris started fighting with Bottas and Pérez and now adds less than Ricciardo
At the start of the fictional Belgian Grand Prix, the twelfth race of the season, Norris was in third position, even ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Pérez in the general of the World Cup. His season was being almost pristine, having finished in the top five in nine of the first ten races. In the other he was eighth.
Norris went into the summer disgusted by the other people’s accident at the Hungaroring, on his way to another great race. But after the holidays he has not been the same again. Only one podium, in Monza, where his teammate won team, and the great blow of defeat in Russia by not attending to your team.
In the first ten races of the season Lando Norris scored 113 points, in the following ten only 40 have been scored, less than Daniel Ricciardo, who has 55. This has not only definitively ruled out the fight with Bottas and Pérez, but right now it seems that he is even going to lose fifth position with some Ferrari, or with both.
Charles Leclerc got just one point behind Norris after Losail’s race, and Carlos Sainz is 7.5. The fight for third place in constructors’ position has already ended in favor of Ferrari, but things would have to change a lot in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi so that it is not also one of the drivers in red who ends up as the best of the rest.
The worst thing for Norris is that doing a season of more to less is not new for him. It already fizzled out in the second half of 2020. Until Mugello, the ninth race, he was fourth overall with 65 points, but he finished ninth with 97 points, and even behind Carlos Sainz, then his teammate.
With two races still to go, seeing how long Norris’s seasons are and the improvement Ferrari has made, it seems that Leclerc and Sainz will fight to be the best of the rest. A battle in which the Spanish rider has much to gain and very little to lose in the face of internal status at Maranello.
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