This is a special situation that will be the case of Lando Norris in 2023: the Briton will truly be the most experienced of his team for the first time in his career and will have the mission to lead the rookie Oscar Piastri.
Is this a situation Lando Norris is looking forward to? Apparently, as he told GQ magazine.
“This is a new situation for me. I was patient, but I always felt that I wanted to be ahead of my age. »
Does Lando Norris know with his experience that he is the big favorite in the internal duel at McLaren this year? He is silent…
“I’ve always hated using experience as an excuse. I never wanted to say, “He beat me today because of his experience.” I hate it. But you can’t prepare for everything from the first race, and over time you realize that you gain experience and make fewer mistakes. »
Lando Norris will therefore have to forge a new relationship with his teammate… and apply himself quickly to avoid seeing his rating suffer.
How was his relationship with Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren garage? If they weren’t as uncharacteristically friendly as they were with Carlos Sainz (whatever Netflix thinks!), were they so cold?
“We get along very well with Carlos. I kind of grew up with him, I get along very well with Daniel. He and I were perfect rivals: we hated beating each other as much as we hated being beaten by each other…”
“We had a lot of respect for each other off the road. I share things; I can be the biggest competitor you need to be on the road, but I can also respect others and be a good friend. »
What ambitions does Lando Norris have alongside Oscar Piastri in 2023 and probably 2024?
For example, is it possible to get a title for McLaren before 2025 during this regulatory period?
“With everything I’ve learned, maybe I could win one race, but it’s not hard for me to win a championship before then. I know I must have been at the top of my game during those years. »
“I hate losing, but losing makes me want to figure it out and do better next time. »
Does Lando Norris personally feel ready for the title?
“I am perfection. I try to be a better driver as possible. »
“I think I’m a good loser, but I’ve always been very hard on myself. I am very critical of my own performance. I always wonder what I could have done better. And then, what could the team have done better? »
The most famous driver?
Although Lando Norris is not a world champion, he is at least a very popular athlete in the paddock. In 2021, a survey conducted in 187 countries showed him as the most popular pilot among young men and women.
“I love it, especially if it’s a fan voice. It’s great to read that there are so many people who support me as a normal person. But it won’t change the way I approach things, who I am, or my ego. I try not to think about it too much. »
“I don’t mind people seeing me as pretty and attractive, but I never see myself that way. »
Strong commitment to mental health
But while Lando Norris is heartbreaking, Formula 1 has a bigger commitment to mental health. The McLaren driver (see our article) was one of those who finally raised this long-shadowed issue.
What was the basis of Lando Norris’ commitment? How did this reflect his personal story?
“I didn’t have to do that. Talking about mental health was a choice because I’ve struggled with it so much in 2019 and 2020.”
“I didn’t know how to deal with it. I kept it all inside and it really hit rock bottom with my confidence. I doubted myself: Am I good enough to be in Formula 1? Can I handle it? »
“You can never please everyone. There are those who support you and those who don’t… I know I’m doing my best. »
And this commitment was recorded in the body by Lando Norris, who concludes with powerful words.
“Several people said that I saved their lives. This is taking a toll on you. »