British racing star Lando Norris ready to go up a gear as F1 returns to Britain

Lando Norris is the British motor racing star who has risen without trace.

In the first three instalments of Formula One’s truncated season, the 20-year-old has been one of the eye-catchers, sitting fourth in the points table and becoming the third youngest driver to stand on the podium.

But while his progress has been eagerly monitored by motorsport aficionados, he remains a relative unknown to the country’s wider sporting public.

That could change over the next couple of weekends at Silverstone if the McLaren driver can continue the aggressive form that saw him finish third and fifth in the first two races of the season.

Norris said: “It’s a good opportunity to put myself out to the British fans, the British people, absolutely.

Lando Norris made a surprise podium at the Austrian Grand Prix
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“It does not change the way I go about things but it is a chance for me, if I do well, to get myself out there.

“Because of the situation we are in, more people might tune in to watch Formula One this weekend.”

Having finished third in the opening Austrian Grand Prix – promoted after Lewis Hamilton was penalised – Norris then produced two of the best laps of the season in the Styrian Grand Prix, overtaking Daniel Ricardo, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez to finish fifth.

And while his 13th place at Hungarian Grand Prix was disappointing, Norris has still been one of the bright sparks of the season so far.

McLaren’s Norris could be Britain’s next F1 superstar

The Bristol-born driver and Carlos Sainz, who is heading to Ferrari next season, have brought welcome positivity to the McLaren team, who are third in the constructors’ table, scrapping it out in the pack behind the runaway Mercedes.

“I don’t think anyone expected Ferrari to be in this state,” said Norris. “At no point last season did we ever consider trying to beat them – they were always put of our league. They have taken a big step backwards, in terms of lap time anyway, and we have taken a small step forward.

“Red Bull still have a very good package when they nail everything – better car than ours 100 percent – but for whatever reason, they seem to have a more complicated car.

Norris in action during pre-season testing earlier this year
(Image: ALEJANDRO GARCIA/EPA-EFE/REX)

“We are at least in a position where we can capitalise on our opportunities on a much more regular basis.

“At the same time, we are not where we want to be. Racing Point have jumped ahead of us.

“If we want to compete for Championships, we are a long, long way behind Mercedes.

“But we are more competitive so that is a good thing.”

And expect Norris to be competitive in the British Grand Prix tomorrow and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix that follows.

The young Brit has a large faithful following amongst motor racing’s social media population.

Over the next two Sundays, he has the chance to go mainstream.

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