Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2020

‘Just because I got a podium doesn’t mean I’m now the driver I have to be’ – Norris

2020 F1 season

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Lando Norris says he still see many areas he can improve his driving following his breakthrough podium finish in :Lando Norris says he still see many areas he can improve his driving following his breakthrough podium finish in last month’s Austrian Grand Prix.

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[/CBC]The McLaren driver described how he has modified his approach for his second season of racing in Formula 1.

“My mentality coming into this season compared to last year was quite different,” said Norris in an interview with selected media including RaceFans last week.

“Last year was just trying to learn as many things as possible and take one race at a time whereas now I knew a bit more what to expect. I had to work on those weaknesses and purely my race pace from last year.

“But also just my mentality and how I acted at the racetrack. I’m still having fun and so on and enjoying myself and having laughs but at the same time dedicating more time to focus on the important thing which is the racing and the driving and just be a bit more serious when I’ve got to be. So I guess that was the first thing in terms of how I’ve been approaching this year.”

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Norris said he felt the benefit of that change in his approach from the start of the new season.

Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, Hungaroring, 2020
Norris took the blame for his point-less finish in Hungary
“I did a lot of days again at McLaren before the season, before Covid, trying to improve on my weaknesses. So I guess the main thing out of these first few weekends is how rewarding it’s been seeing that progress that I’ve made.”

However he is cautious not to “get ahead of myself” following his third and fifth-place finishes at Red Bull Ring.

“It’s not something I want to [be] saying and I go to Silverstone and I do a bad job or something on the tyres and not look after the front-left, for example and I could have a bad race because of it. I’m not saying I’m perfect and [that] I’m a miles better race driver than what I was.

“But I’ve been doing a better job than what I did last year, put myself in a better position through qualifying, through race strategy, through race performance. And a lot of this has led onto those better results which have been rewarding in seeing the progress that I made.

“It’s just keeping an account that I need to continue to work on if I want to see these kind of results and not relax and slip up and think that I’ve achieved something all of a sudden. Just because I’ve got a podium it doesn’t mean that I’ve achieved everything I need to and I’m now the race driver that I have to be. There’s still a lot of things I’ve got to keep working on and then progressing on and I think that’s the important thing.”

Following his successful start to the season in Austria, Norris came away from the Hungaroring point-less. He qualified eighth, one place ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr, but made a poor start.

“If I look at my result from Sunday it was 13th. And the reason it was 13th was not down to the team, it wasn’t down to a bad pit stop – the pit stop wasn’t ideal, I lost a position from it, but it wasn’t the reason I was 13th.

“It wasn’t the team’s fault. Basically everything leads back down to my start. I was eighth on the grid and I had a chance to at least score a few points on Sunday. Nothing huge, it wouldn’t have been a top five or top six, but could have been where Carlos was in a eighth, ninth or 10th. And the only reason because of this was because of my start, and that was just down to me.”

“I just made one big mistake off the line, losing like six positions or something,” he said. “And that was the thing that screwed me over. I have the ability to be harsh on myself and in a lot of the scenarios I think it’s good that I’m able to realise that and it makes me work hard that I’m not happy with the job I’ve done.”

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2020 F1 season

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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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6 comments on “‘Just because I got a podium doesn’t mean I’m now the driver I have to be’ – Norris”

  1. Good attitude.

  2. This guy, wins podium in a McLaren, helps the mechanics strip the car, then comes home and comes up with:

    “I need to be a better driver.”

    While some are focused on diversity, some like Norris are focused on being the best they can be.

    We should all focus on that.

    1. Doug Webster
      28th July 2020, 22:08

      Ugh. They are not mutually exclusive.

  3. Amen. So glad to see someone working to improve himself in these times where we encourage everybody to ‘just accept yourself as you are’.

  4. Really like this guy

  5. Doug Webster
    28th July 2020, 22:34

    Diversity and Inclusion is about finding the best people and the best ideas from the broadest possible pool of people and ideas. Diversity is sometimes confused with a hand-out or special or preferential treatment. It’s about reducing barriers and eliminating counterproductive and irrational systems and processes …first and foremost. It’s an important part of being the best WE can be. It’s the right approach and the smart approach.

    Who supports diversity and inclusion on the grid? Lando Norris (subject of this article)…and Lewis Hamilton (probably the best that ever was).

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