1996 world champion Damon Hill believes Lando Norris’ first F1 win can act as a “watershed moment” for his career.

The McLaren driver claimed his maiden grand prix victory at the 110th attempt after leading home Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to triumph in Miami last time out.

It brought an end to an unwelcome record of having the most podiums in F1 without a win, and helped banish the ghosts of his near-miss at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix, which prompted suggestions that Norris is a choker when it comes to delivering under pressure.

“I heard that some people had been suggested he was a choker. Well I never thought of Lando in that way,” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.

“I thought he’d done everything that could be expected of someone who is an aspiring and potential grand prix winner and potential world champion in that he’d paid his dues and he’d learned the hard way.

“I was in Russia when he nearly won and sadly got caught out in the final few laps. And I myself remember how I came so close so many times before it finally happened. That is the nature of this sport. You get a little closer and then something trips you up and you start to wonder how it will ever happen, or will it ever happen.

“But you put that thought out of your mind because you know as long as you keep doing what you are doing and knocking on the door, opportunity will certainly open the door eventually and it will suddenly just all happen.

“That’s certainly what happened in my case when I started winning a lot more and I expect that Lando can do the same.”

Asked what impact a prolonged wait for a maiden win can have on a driver’s psyche, Hill replied: “I think it’s not so much your own psyche, it’s just annoying.

“All these guys think they can win, if the right circumstances come along, they can win a grand prix. Some of them are lucky enough to have done it repeatedly, so there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that they can do it.

“What now happens is that you’ve proven what you already knew. So Lando has just basically said ‘well I already knew I could do this, it wasn’t an issue, it’s just you people are so impatient and you don’t believe and have so little faith in what I know to be true’.

“So when you win, you also upset people because you are then different to other people. You’ve put them behind you in terms of your success and now he’s done it.”