Fittipaldi, who won his second Formula 1 world title with McLaren in 1974, believes the team’s rising star has the ability to battle with both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in a new golden era for F1 once Hamilton’s reign ends.
Norris made his debut in the sport at last season’s Australian Grand Prix with McLaren and finished 11th in the championship with 49 points.
And on the eve of the delayed start to the 2020 F1 season, Fittipaldi told Standard Sport: “Lando Norris has all the ingredients to be a champion. He’s world championship title material for sure.
“He’s very talented, he’s been very successful in karting and other formula and it’s great to see another British challenger come along.”
At 20, Norris is seen as one of the rising stars of the sport along with Leclerc, who begins his third season in the sport at Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix and second at Ferrari, while Verstappen is already more established with five seasons under his belt.
But Fittipaldi believes that a resurgent McLaren, despite their apparent financial difficulties, can help Norris battle for world championship honours in the future.
“McLaren came back very strong last year,” he said. “We know already that Verstappen and Leclerc are showing their potential but you have to say Lando Norris as well.
“There’s so many great talents, he’s right up there for me and part of a new golden era. Lando is maybe the unknown of the three but for me he’s as much world champion material as the other two.”
McLaren had a strong showing in winter testing back in Barcelona in February and Fittipaldi is confident they can climb the grid.
Hamilton once again set the benchmark for Mercedes with a dominant performance, which marks him out as the favourite for a record-equalling seventh world title.
And Fittipaldi predicted: “There’s still much more winning ahead of him he’s going to create history. The numbers don’t lie.”