Ex-Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer has heaped praise on McLaren’s Lando Norris following his impressive 2022 campaign.
Norris scored a bulk of his team’s points across the year and was consistently faster than team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who has now left the squad.
The Briton was the only driver outside of the top three teams to score a podium, as he crossed the line at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in third place.
2022 marked Norris’ fourth season in F1, with his strong 2021 pace rewarded through a contract extension at McLaren until 2025.
Although McLaren missed out on fourth in the Constructors’ Championship to Alpine, Palmer labeled Norris as his standout driver from the 2022 season.
“It was another stellar season for the McLaren driver, who barely put a foot wrong all campaign to finish comfortably best of the rest in the standings and almost single handedly take the fight to Alpine in the constructors’ championship,” he wrote for Formula1.com.
“The gap between the best and the rest was bigger than anticipated in 2022, something I hope will close up from next season to give more of the midfielders opportunities.
“But it was only Norris who managed a podium outside of the top three teams, with his drive to third in Imola.
“Out-qualified only once by the departing Daniel Ricciardo, it seemed Norris took his performance to another level, even if the standout moments weren’t as exceptional as last year.
“With a long-term contract in place, he’ll be hoping for a leap in performance from his team next season. If that comes, I expect Norris to be knocking on the door of that maiden race win once again.”
Norris will partner rookie Oscar Piastri at McLaren next year.
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