Lando Norris has warned Lewis Hamilton that an “unstoppable” Max Verstappen is coming for the British driver’s records.
Verstappen heads into his home race at Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort with a commanding 93-point title lead as he closes in on his second championship triumph in as many years.
The Dutch driver’s victory last time out in Belgium took him to 29 career victories, just three short of Fernando Alonso, placing him eighth on the all-time list.
Hamilton holds the record of most wins (103) and, alongside Michael Schumacher, has been crowned champion of the world on seven occasions.
But Norris believes Verstappen, in his dominant Red Bull machine, could reach 70 wins within two seasons, leaving just Hamilton and Schumacher (91) ahead of a driver who has not yet celebrated his 25th birthday.
“If Max has two seasons like this, he can get another 30 to 40 wins in the next year-and-a-half to two years, and then he is up to 70 already, so he could quite possibly (beat Hamilton’s records),” said Norris.
“I don’t think he cares too much about numbers, or what you see on paper, he just wants to be known as the best driver.
“But if it gets to a point where it is close he will absolutely stay in Formula One as long as he needs to to get to that point.”
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 2, 2022
Verstappen drove from 14th to first at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner describing his star driver as being in a league of his own.
Verstappen was involved in a number of altercations with Hamilton during last year’s contentious title battle. But Verstappen’s run of nine victories in the 14 rounds of his title defence has passed by without controversy.
“At the end of last year it was win or nothing, but now he is looking at the bigger picture,” said McLaren’s Norris.
“From what I see, it looks as though he wants to be a little bit more respectful.
“But if it went down to the wire and if he needed to pull something out of the bag, and be forceful and aggressive, it is still well within him to do things like he did last year, and push it to the absolute limit.
“If Charles was leading the championship, a few points ahead of Max, he would be taking those bigger moves and putting both of them at risk. But he leads by so many points and knows he is probably not going to finish worse than second or third.
“He has got a car which has allowed him to look like he is on another level. He could have started 20th in Spa and still won the race. It is a powerful combination. Such a team, such a car, such a driver, they look unstoppable at the moment.”