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'It's nice to see Hamilton lose at last', says Norris… and British racer stands by McLaren move

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McLaren star Lando Norris says F1 is STRONGER for Lewis Hamilton’s struggles this season as Mercedes prepare for another tough week in Australia… with Ferrari and Red Bull set to battle it out at the front

  • Lewis Hamilton finished 10th in Saudi Arabia in his under-performing Mercedes
  • And the Brit is braced for further difficulties in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix
  • Lando Norris believes Formula One is stronger as a result of Hamilton losing 

British driver Lando Norris believes Formula One is stronger as a result of Lewis Hamilton losing.

Hamilton, who finished 10th in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago, is set for further misery in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix after Mercedes confirmed he would receive no significant upgrades.

That means he will almost certainly fail to match the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull – a horror for Hamilton but not for Norris.

Lando Norris believes Formula One is stronger as a result of Lewis Hamilton losing

Lando Norris believes Formula One is stronger as a result of Lewis Hamilton losing

The 22-year-old McLaren racer told Sportsmail: ‘In a way it is nice to see that Mercedes don’t always have success. It shows that even when you have had that success, you can still get things wrong. It is easy to get things wrong.

‘Much as I hate to say it, it is good to see Ferrari up there. And it is reassuring for other teams to know it is still possible. If it were just Mercedes and Red Bull again, it would be so predictable.

‘With Lewis you are seeing the challenge of one of the best drivers competing in a car that is not the best. We will see a different side of Lewis, compared to the last decade.

‘But I don’t think you can say it is all about the car, rather than Lewis’s ability. He has still been against very good drivers, such as Fernando (Alonso) in his first year, and then went on to achieve what everyone expected of him.

Hamilton is set for further misery due to Mercedes' woes in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix

Hamilton is set for further misery due to Mercedes’ woes in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix

‘I just don’t believe in the last few years he has had quite the challenge that he could have had, or maybe that he had against (Nico) Rosberg. Perhaps we will see that against George (Russell, Hamilton’s new team-mate).

‘I don’t think anything takes away the driver he is.’ As for Norris, his season has started woefully. McLaren are way off the pace, and the 22-year-old finished nearly a minute behind Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia.

So isn’t it a shame he has signed himself away to the Surrey-based team for four season, even if it is for £20million a year?

‘No, I see a lot of stories saying I have made the wrong decision,’ he said.. ‘But that is not the case. I am happy. I have all the faith in the world that we can still achieve good things in the next few years and if I had to make the decision again, I would still do what I did.

‘There were chances to go to other teams, but I am playing the long game.’ 

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