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Lando Norris: 'Lewis Hamilton domination a turn-off for F1 fans'

Lando Norris: 'Lewis Hamilton domination a turn-off for F1 fans'
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McLaren driver Lando Norris is gearing up for his second season in the sport.

Lando Norris fears another season of Lewis Hamilton domination will continue to drive fans away from Formula One.

While McLaren's Norris was effusive in his praise for Hamilton, the young Briton revealed some of his friends have stopped watching the sport.

Hamilton, 35, will start the new season, which begins in Australia on Sunday, as the firm favourite to win his sixth world championship in seven years.

Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will start as the favourite to win another title this year
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will start as the favourite to win another title this year (Peter Nicholls/PA).

Hamilton's Mercedes team bamboozled the paddock in testing after unveiling their dual-axis steering system which appears set to provide them with a fresh edge this term.

"I know a lot of people who don't watch Formula One because all they see is a Mercedes winning and it looks boring from the outside," Norris told the PA news agency.

"I hope it doesn't happen this year, but it is likely it will. It is a shame and it is bad but what can you do about it?

"There are so many little things that Mercedes have worked so hard on, like the steering wheel. They come up with these ideas which are just insane and you have to say hats off. Everyone else needs to do a better job and catch up."

Lando Norris in action for McLaren during winter testing in Barcelona
Lando Norris in action for McLaren during winter testing in Barcelona (David Davies/PA).

Norris, who is gearing up for his second campaign, arrived in Formula One having spent the formative years of his career battling at the sharp end of the pack.

But the 20-year-old has had to get used to life in F1's competitive midfield, recording a best finish of sixth during a largely impressive rookie season for his improved McLaren team.

Up front, Hamilton's closest challenge for a record-equalling seventh world title is set to come from Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman, 22, scored three wins last season, leading to some suggestions within the paddock that he is a better driver than Hamilton.

"Max is more of a racer than Lewis," added Norris. "He wins by making those moves and puts everything on the line.

"Lewis has spent a lot of years against decent drivers. He is very good in qualifying. He nails the laps and then he nails the race. But you never see him making these amazing overtakes – probably because he is always at the front – yet you see that from Max.

"Both drivers have strengths, albeit in slightly different areas. It would be great to see them go head-to-head this year. They are the two that are proving themselves at the moment."

Norris' happy-go-lucky approach to F1 has earned him something of a cult following among the sport's fans.

But the young driver has admitted he could adopt a more serious approach this year, to put to bed perceptions that his mind is not always on the job.

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Smile because it's the Weekend! 😁 #smiles #happyme

A post shared by Lando Norris (@landonorris) on

"The second year carries another type of pressure," he added. "There is now the pressure of it being my second season whereas last year there was the pressure of just being a rookie.

"You have that title above your name and you get a bit of leeway, but I don't have that any more. It isn't as nice but I don't think it changes too much.

"I feel like I can do better in a lot of areas than I did last year. The bad moments are the things I now need to improve on.

"I am not preparing differently, I am preparing in the best way that is possible, and it doesn't matter if it is your 10th season or your first, that pressure will always be around in Formula One."


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