After recording his maiden podium finish in the season-opening race, Lando Norris had a strong sophomore year. Here are the facts and statistics from Norris’ 2020 F1 season!
Lando Norris raced more laps than any other driver this season, with his retirement at the Eifel Grand Prix his only non-finish of the year – as well as one of only four occasions on which he failed to score. He earned the nickname ‘Last Lap Lando’ in the opening races of the season. On the final lap at the Austrian Grand Prix, Norris set the Fastest Lap, closing the gap to Lewis Hamilton, who had been handed a five-second time penalty. The McLaren driver’s efforts saw him stand on the podium for the first time in his career. One week later, Norris’ last lap antics earned him more plaudits, overtaking a struggling Sergio Perez at the final corner to take fifth place.
Norris and McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz were the most closely matched team-mates in 2020. Norris recorded 48% of the team’s tally of points (well up from 34% in 2019), and out-qualified Sainz on pace eight times in their sixteen fair battles this season. On average, the duo were separated by only 0.017 seconds per sector in qualifying.
The Norris and Sainz partnership will be split up in 2021, with the Brit instead having a new challenge in Daniel Ricciardo. With a switch to Mercedes power, McLaren may be even closer to the front of the pack. Norris’ performances relative to Ricciardo will be one of the more intriguing storylines in 2021.
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: At the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Lando Norris became the 40th different British driver to finish on the podium in Formula 1 and the 212th different driver to finish in the top three in the sport’s history. At 20 years, 7 months and 22 days, Norris became F1’s third youngest podium finisher, behind Max Verstappen at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix and Lance Stroll at the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It was also the first time that the driver of car number 4 finished on the podium since Felipe Massa finished third at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. Norris is the first driver to finish on a Formula 1 podium who was born after Mika Hakkinen won his first World Championship, and after McLaren won their most recent Constructors’ Championship in 1998.
Styria: Prior to the start of the 2020 season, Lando Norris had never previously finished in the top five. The Styrian Grand Prix marked his second consecutive top five finish, putting his 2020 points tally at over half of the points which he scored in total in the 2019 season. He and championship leader Valtteri Bottas were the only two drivers to maintain their championship position after the Styrian Grand Prix.
Hungary: Along with Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris maintained his record of having reached Q3 on every appearance at the Hungarian Grand Prix. His thirteenth place finish marked the first time he has failed to score since the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix.
Britain: Lando Norris scored on home soil for the first time in his career at the 2020 British Grand Prix, recording his third top five finish in the last four races. Norris’ fifth place was McLaren’s best result at the British Grand Prix since Jenson Button finished in fourth place in 2014, while his qualifying result was also the team’s best since Button in 2014.
70th Anniversary: Lando Norris finished ninth in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. He became the tenth British driver to have finished ninth in a round of the World Championship held at Silverstone – the first to do so since Paul di Resta in 2013.
Spain: At the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Lando Norris was out-raced by his team-mate for only the second time so far in the season. Despite this, Norris still picked up a point, ensuring both McLaren cars finished in the top ten at Catalunya for the first time since 2013.
Belgium: Lando Norris finished in seventh place at the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, making this the first Belgian Grand Prix in which a McLaren driver has scored since 2016. In that race, just as in 2020, one McLaren driver finished seventh while the other failed to finish.
Italy: Lando Norris finished in fourth place, making the 2020 Italian Grand Prix the first race since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix in which both McLaren drivers have finished in the top four. It was also the first time that both McLaren drivers have scored at Monza since 2014.
Tuscany: Lando Norris failed to reach Q3 for the first time in 2020, qualifying in eleventh place. It was only the second time in 2020 that a McLaren driver has failed to qualify in the top ten; Carlos Sainz qualified thirteenth for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Russia: Lando Norris finished fifteenth in the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, failing to score for only the second time in 2020. He lost seven positions from where he started – which is the most positions he has lost in any F1 race where he has reached the chequered flag.
Eifel: Lando Norris’ retirement from the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix made this the fourth time in the last five races that a McLaren driver has failed to reach the chequered flag.
Portugal: Finishing the Portuguese Grand Prix in thirteenth place, Lando Norris failed to score for a third consecutive race. This is only the second time in his career that Norris has failed to pick up points at three successive events. The other time it happened was at the 2019 Spanish, Monaco and Canadian Grands Prix.
Emilia Romagna: Lando Norris’ eighth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix marked the first time he has scored since the Tuscan Grand Prix. It was the first time he had finished in eighth place this season.
Turkey: With eleventh place in qualifying, Lando Norris equalled his worst qualifying performance of the 2020 season to this point. Norris recorded the Fastest Lap of the Turkish Grand Prix and became the 82nd driver to have set the Fastest Lap on multiple occasions. Finishing in eighth, Norris became the first driver to have scored points at the Turkish Grand Prix having started fourteenth on the grid.
Bahrain: With fourth place, Lando Norris recorded the third top four result of his career at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. On every occasion that Norris has finished in the top four, his team-mate has also finished inside the top five.
Sakhir: Lando Norris recorded his worst qualifying result of 2020 with fifteenth place. It was his worst qualifying result since qualifying sixteenth at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Norris lost his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Bahrain International Circuit as a result. Finishing in tenth place, Norris became the first driver to score at the circuit having started from nineteenth on the grid.
Abu Dhabi: Equalling his career-best qualifying performance, Lando Norris’ fourth place was the first time that a McLaren driver has qualified in the top four at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the 2012 race. With fifth place in the race, Norris recorded the sixth top five finish of his F1 career.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.