Lando Norris believes Lewis Hamilton could do the unthinkable and win every remaining race on his march towards a seemingly inevitable seventh Formula One world championship.
Hamilton will arrive at Silverstone for this week’s British Grand Prix with a five-point title lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
The all-conquering Mercedes team are on course to crush the opposition this season, and in Hamilton, have a driver at the top of his game following his convincing victory in Hungary earlier this month.
“Do I expect Lewis to win every race? I see no reason why he would not be able to – unless something happens or he breaks down,” said Norris.
“He is a better driver than Bottas and he has shown that over the past few years. On pure pace, if they both get off the line well, Lewis has an extremely high chance.
“He is pretty much racing only one other car on the grid, which is his team-mate, so if he doesn’t finish first, he is probably going to finish second.”
Hamilton will start as the strong favourite to win his home grand prix for a sixth time in seven seasons and seventh in all – but his quest to do so will be played out in front of empty grandstands for the first time in the race’s long history.
For McLaren driver Norris, it will be his second appearance at Silverstone as he looks to recover from a poor Hungarian Grand Prix after impressive third and fifth placed finishes at the opening two rounds in Austria.
“It will feel weird going to my home Grand Prix and not having any fans there,” the 20-year-old added.
“We call it the home race because of the fans. When they are not there, you’re just racing on a track without it having any proper meaning or atmosphere, like it did last year. It would have been nice to see more British flags with Norris on.
“It’s a shame, especially because we’re having a race there on Sunday and again next weekend. That really sucks. But at least we’re back and heading in the right direction. Hopefully next year we can get them back.”
In the aftermath of his win in Hungary, Hamilton called on F1 and its governing body, the FIA, to play a more active role in the fight against racism. He was also critical of his fellow drivers who have refused to take a knee in the opening races of the season.
It is understood a period of reflection will be rubber-stamped in the schedule before Sunday’s race.
The staging of the anti-racism gesture is proving to be a divisive subject for the sport, with Norris calling for greater collaboration moving forwards.
“After the last race, there needs to be a bigger discussion about what we are going to do because it was a mess and we have to accept that,” he said.
“It wasn’t planned and no-one spoke up in the drivers’ briefing about what we were going to do. I recommended that we had a WhatsApp group, so we can say ‘this is what we are doing’, but no-one seemed up for that.
“Whether we do take the knee or we don’t take the knee, that is not the question. We all support it, no matter what. We just need to put a better plan in place along with the FIA and Formula One.”