Lando Norris predicted Mercedes will have a smaller advantage over their rivals than usual on Bahrain’s short Outer circuit this weekend.George Russell, who is substituting for Lewis Hamilton in the team this weekend, won’t enjoy the full scale of Mercedes’ usual advantage as a result. However he backed his long-time rival to impress on his debut with the team.
“I think he can achieve a pole,” said Norris. “I think he can achieve a win.
“If there’s any weekend maybe Mercedes have a smaller advantage than any other weekend its probably here. So he’s taken a step up into the team at probably one of the toughest weekends of the year in terms of their advantage that they probably have over the the rest of the field so it’s not going to be easy for him.
“But I know how good a driver he is, everyone else does too and of course Mercedes do as well. I’m expecting big things.”
Norris admitted he will be “maybe slightly jealous if he gets an extremely good result, like a win.
“But I’ll just be happy for him and I look forward to hopefully being able to fight him again.”
Alexander Albon, who like Norris also raced against Russell in junior categories, predicted he will “show what he can do” after swapping his Williams for a Mercedes.
“Obviously it’s exciting for the young generation, I guess. I have no doubt he’s going to do the job.”
Charles Leclerc believes “a podium at least” is possible for Russell this weekend. “But I have some hope of a win. It’s very optimistic but I know he’s very good. I would bet on a win.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2020 Sakhir Grand Prix
- 2020 Bahrain and Sakhir Grand Prix Star Performers
- Sakhir performance risked making me look a fool, admits Bottas
- Perez makes his case for 2021 chance with masterful recovery drive for first win
- Perez breaks Webber’s record with 190-race wait for first win
- Paddock Diary: Sakhir Grand Prix