McLaren MCL34, 2019

Norris not looking for help from Hamilton ahead of debut

2019 F1 season

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Lando Norris says he isn’t going out of his way to seek help from his McLaren predecessor Lewis Hamilton ahead of his Formula 1 debut for the team.

Norris will make his first grand prix start for McLaren next month, as Hamilton did 12 years ago. But Norris, who will become Britain’s youngest ever F1 driver, says he doesn’t know Hamilton personally.

“I’m definitely proud to be to be the youngest [British driver],” he told media including RaceFans at the launch of the McLaren MCL34 today. “I think it’s a very big achievement, a cool achievement, to to be able to say it and see it.”

“But I haven’t rung up Lewis – I don’t even know his number – I haven’t tried going out of my way to seek advice from from people I don’t necessarily know personally.

“It’s not just British drivers, I think it doesn’t matter if you’re a British driver. I think me wanting to be the best I can, I just learn from anyone, whether it’s from Carlos [Sainz Jnr], Fernando [Alonso] or Stoffel [Vandoorne], there’s things I’ve learned from from all of them which will help me improve.”

Norris said his only encounter with Hamilton was during a press conference at the end of last season.

“I shook his hand in Abu Dhabi when I had the press conference there. But that’s as far as we’ve gone. I don’t know Lewis personally at all.

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“I’ve always looked up to him as a driver. He is a driver I admire a lot because of how amazing he is. he is one of the best of all time. It’s amazing and awesome for a driver to see someone like him and how good he is how he works.”

Having been a McLaren test driver for the last two seasons, Norris was able to build a closer relationship with two-times world champion Alonso.

“I got to do that essentially with Fernando,” said Norris. “He’s not British but you still learn from a driver’s perspective: How he goes about race weekends, how he works, how he involves himself with the team, the engineers, everything like that.

“I knew Fernando on a much more personal level which was a good thing to do and I managed to learn and take a lot of things out of that.”

Norris is part of an all-new driver line-up at McLaren this year. But he said he hasn’t set himself the target of beating team mate Sainz.

“I think any driver in the world wants to to win overall and that means beating any other driver.


“But being hopefully a longer-term project with McLaren I think the biggest aim for myself is to progress and become a better driver. I don’t think I can really say ‘I want to beat this guy, I’ll beat this guy’.

“At the same time I need to learn from Carlos. He has a lot of experience, years of experience, he will know more things than than I do. He will know better in different situations what to do.

“I’ve tried and I’ve spent a lot of time over the winter to try and prepare myself in every area I can for this moment and for the races coming out. But there’s some things you can’t learn until you’re actually on track and you’re in that situation for yourself.

“So I will try and learn from Carlos. For both of our aims to win races and win championships we have to improve as a team first and I think the most valuable thing that we can we can do is work together to to improve each other and also improve the car to allow us to have better results. So for myself it’s to improve as a driver and at least end of the year a better one than I started.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 12 comments on “Norris not looking for help from Hamilton ahead of debut”

    1. Why would he? Don’t get me wrong, I understand why the comparisons will be made, and why the questions will be asked – But do these reporters really expect Lewis to take time out of both his own preparations and other activities to give advice to a rookie in another team?

      It’s a well known fact there are very few “friends” in the modern F1 paddock, even within teams nowadays, I don’t remember Mark ever revealing how Fernando gave him some setup or corner tips…

      1. Reading the comment, it seems like he was the one who brought up Lewis’s rather than being asked by the reporter.

        1. While I totally expect Brit Journos to try associate him with Hamilton (hopefully that is the case in context), regardless he needs to dismiss such nonsense questions, stay down and deliver… something… first.

    2. Why on earth should he look for help from Hamilton. Hamilton was the most privileged rookie in f1 hiroey having over 20,000 km with a top 2 team in mclaren. Now rookies are lucky to get 1000 km before Melbourne.

      1. Because he is British. That is what I gathered. did you read the article?

      2. Villeneuve had similar track time before his debut and he started on the best team.
        So he is the most privileged rookie, not Hamilton.

        That said, he shoud look for help from Sainz, his team mate. It’s not like by being british like him Hamilton is the only guy he could ask for help. Everybody there speaks decent english.

      3. @ kpcart: One really has to wonder how many times (and on how many articles) are you going to keep posting the same nonsense. It’s pretty obvious what your agenda is but for anyone else caring about the truth:wis’ test mileage was in fact only about half that (of which 3200 km was in the ’06 spec car). In comparison to his peers, Vettel, Rosberg & Kubica had more test mileage under their belts before their debuts, & in ’07 Alonso racked up the most test mileage for McLaren. You’re so full of it your eyeballs must be a uniform shade of brown by now.

        1. *Lewis’ test mileage

    3. Is his number 55?

      1. Nope, number 4

    4. so he is half of lewis… hahahaha

    5. Chuck Norris in at the deep end?
      Hang on a minute.. Lando Calrissian owned the Falcon, later crewed by Solo and Chewbacca. Chewing tobacco is a type of nutritious and flavoursome lifestyle choice. Lando now drives the BAT-mobile for Uncle Zak.. It all makes sense now. ;-)

    Comments are closed.