Helping out at McLaren ‘crucial to get to know the team’ – Norris

2020 F1 season

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A photograph of Lando Norris helping McLaren mechanics dismantle his car after Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was widely shared on social media.

It may be an uncommon sight, but the 20-year-old says it was no one-off for him, as he’s done the same in earlier in his career including in F1.

“It’s something I’ve done quite a few times before,” said Norris on Wednesday, “it’s just never gone on social media.” The picture was posted by McLaren’s group communications director, then picked up by many other accounts.

“It’s not something that I feel like I need to put on social media,” Norris explained. “It’s something I did already in 2018, something I’ve done since karting really.

“In karting we used to always have to, post-race, clean all the karts and the chain guard and the airbox and the majority of things. It’s something I’ve always kind of enjoyed doing. It’s something I loved doing as a kid, taking things apart and so on.”he

Norris said he continued the practice when he first arrived in Formula 1 driving practice sessions for McLaren in 2018.

“When I was doing some of the FP1s, in like America, Japan, Mexico, Abu Dhabi I think too in ’18, and in 2019, I did it sometimes.

“I haven’t done it every time. It’s more often when my flight is on a Monday. A lot of the time flights are on a Sunday evening, and you have your thing and it’s timed, you have your debriefs and everything and you go to the airport and you’re on the way home.

“Whereas the times when it’s on the Monday or the next day then I get the opportunity to stay with the mechanics and go and help them out.”

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Norris said there were two reasons why he prefers to help his team out post-race when he can. “One is because I enjoy it. It’s just quite cool, who wouldn’t want to go and take apart a Formula 1 car and get to explore it a bit and work with mechanics and so on? It’s just good fun. And you learn something new about and it’s just a bit more hands-on.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2020
“I thought I can help them and make their lives a little bit easier”
“And two, it’s good for the team. It’s good for myself and my mechanics that we’re working together. I’m helping them, it makes their job much easier.

“They’ve just done the whole race weekend, they did three weeks in a row. And I thought I can just help them and make their lives a little bit easier.

“It’s not something I chose to do just because we did three weeks in a row, because it’s something I’ve done several times before. It’s more the fact of just helping them anyway, me enjoying it, getting to spend some time [with them]. We have some good laughs. We have some jokes. And I enjoy spending time and working with the mechanics and the engineers. Will, my engineer, does it too.”

“It’s a crucial part of getting to know them and improving our atmosphere as a team,” he added. “I enjoy it and it’s good fun and the only other thing I would be doing is going back, lying in my bed and watching Netflix. And I prefer to take apart a Formula 1 car than to do that.”

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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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  • 17 comments on “Helping out at McLaren ‘crucial to get to know the team’ – Norris”

    1. All successful leaders know they have to be prepared to do what any member of their team is asked to do for them if they have the talent, physique and skills to do so. Everyone can make the tea, clean the toilets………

      Lando is trusted to fiddle with an F1 car and that is a complement in itself from his mechanics.

      1. Very true.

      2. Montréalais (@)
        26th July 2020, 16:45

        +1 I like Lando Norris even more now.

    2. Norris, Russell, Albon, Leclerc all seem like a bit of a nice change to be honest, they come across as not needing to put on a ‘face’ as such. It might change when they’re fighting for a championship, but I like it, they just seem like nice enough people, not that necessarily helping strip an F1 car makes you nice, but they all come across very well.

      1. +1
        My thoughts exactly.

      2. @bernasaurus @jms90h5

        I agree, very refreshing. This generation’s only exceptions to that are Verstappen and Ocon.

        1. I disagree and would rather replace Leclerc with Verstappen in this group. Or at least not group him with Ocon who is clearly from another mindset

          1. Max would love to help (certain last time) but isn’t ‘allowed’ by someone. Also not sure if Max would be fast enough to help the mechanics have a certain flow and a driver would make it slower…

      3. Montréalais (@)
        26th July 2020, 16:45

        +1 Nice observation.

    3. This guy is a Champion!
      Has it all!
      Fantastic driver, humble, funny, a great guy!
      I predict that, after Lewis has destroyed all records and retire… Norris will be the next F1 World Champion! :)
      I would like to see him with Russell in a McLaren fighting for World titles or at Mercedes doing the same!

    4. The other drivers I heard that helped out their mechanics were Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson. All such nice guys. I dearly hope that is one of the only things Lando ends up having in common with them.

    5. It’s not something that I feel like I need to put on social media

      Yet it’s the most impactful gestures on equality in F1.

      1. Take note Lewis

      2. Montréalais (@)
        26th July 2020, 16:46

        +1 I agree @ruliemaulana

    6. Great attitude, but human nature is what it is. It’s not necessarily the nice guy that gets highest respect and admiration. “Familiarity breeds contempt” “Stockholm Syndrome” or whatever quirks of human nature governs this.

      1. @balue true, Schumacher made a point to spend time with the team and buy birthday presents for everyone because he believed it would get the team on his side gaining a competitive advantage.

        Was it just for the competitive advantage, or was he actually also a really nice guy? Only he truly knows that.

        In this case with Norris, I think it’s because he’s genuinely a nice guy; but it can’t be lost on him that it would help him to meld with the team and gain a competitive advantage from it. And there’s nothing wrong with it—any competitive advantage is a bonus. Good on him.

        1. I think most people see through fake niceness.

          Schumacher did bring his team closer. Rosberg talks about how he nearly wasnt there when Michael was in the room.

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