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Lewis Hamilton had a more powerful car than Max Verstappen in 2021

Lando Norris believes that Max Verstappen is not world champion because he had the fastest car – he had less “bad luck” and made fewer mistakes.

Verstappen emerged victorious from an epic battle with Lewis Hamilton in 2021 that ended controversially, but also with 10 race wins for the Dutchman compared to eight for the defending champion, who left eight points behind.

It was a season in which Red Bull was able to provide the Dutchman with a car for large parts of the campaign that could keep up with the Mercedes, which had conquered everything up until then, despite missing the designer’s title in the end.

But Norris, who also had the best of his three Formula 1 seasons for McLaren, starting from pole position in Russia, believes it was more Verstappen’s driving style than the RB16B’s performance that made the difference in the fight against Hamilton.

“I don’t think he had a better car during the entire season,” said Norris, quoted by Motorsport-total.com.

“Mercedes had the more powerful car in most cases, but he (Verstappen) was less unlucky and made fewer mistakes as a driver.”

In terms of costly mistakes, apart from moments that could be interpreted as racing accidents like the collision with Hamilton at Monza, Verstappen was more or less flawless throughout the campaign.

Hamilton made an avowed mistake in restarting the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when he accidentally caught the magic brake button while also driving off a greasy track at Imola but still managed to reach his full potential that day by aiming second.

Norris has healthy relationships with both of the title characters. Verstappen described the 22-year-old as “a good friend of mine” when he sent him his best wishes after the McLaren man’s bad fall during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The seven-time ex-world champion meanwhile described Norris on team radio as “such a great driver”, while the duo fought for the position in Austria.

“I’m happy for him,” said Norris of Verstappen’s title win. “I congratulate him on what he has achieved this season.

“He took on Lewis, who is much more experienced and has won a lot of titles.

“He (Verstappen) is a good friend of mine. I congratulated him first, but then I went to Lewis because he also had an incredible season and did a lot of things right to become champions. I respect both of them very much. “

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