Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022

Norris showed “great fighting spirit” to take eighth despite tonsillitis – Seidl

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl praised Lando Norris’s “fighting spirit” after he finished eighth in the Spanish Grand Prix while suffering the effects of tonsillitis.

Norris had been dealing with the physical effects of the illness all weekend, Seidl revealed after the race. The McLaren driver felt so ill prior to the start of the race he missed the national anthem ceremony while being attended to.

Despite feeling so unwell, Norris drove a strong race to finish eighth and claim four points at the chequered flag. Seidl praised his driver’s efforts to claim a points finish despite his illness and the intense heat.

“Obviously as a team and from my side, we can’t thank him enough for battling through,” Seidl said. “He showed a great fighting spirit. In the end he enabled us to score these four points today. It was great to see the commitment from his side.”

Seidl confirmed that the decision made for Norris to race had been taken under professional medical advice and that it had been the driver’s own decision to compete despite his condition.

“We obviously have a doctor involved in decisions like that and we wouldn’t ever risk the health of Lando,” Seidl explained. “After the doctor gave the green light today and after Lando was clear from his side that he would give it a go, we went for it.

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; George Russell, Mercedes; Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Spanish Grand Prix in pictures
“Obviously he was not feeling well all weekend. When your energy levels are low with tonsillitis – which he was suffering from – it was a very challenging race and afternoon. Especially in these hot temperatures as well.

“So he was pretty flat towards the end of the race and after the race, but thanks to the great medical support here and also within the team that he has around him. The objective is clear now for the next phase. We need to make sure he gets some good rest now in the next four days before we then go again in Monaco.”

McLaren have a pool of reserve drivers they can draw from to replace Norris in case of an emergency, but Seidl expects Norris to be fit enough to race in Monaco next weekend.

“I think with the medical support we have as well and with having the possibility now to rest for four days, I’m hopeful that Lando will be fit. But as you know, we have different options in terms of reserve drivers prepared to pull from in case of an emergency. But again, we’re quite hopeful that Lando will be okay again.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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8 comments on “Norris showed “great fighting spirit” to take eighth despite tonsillitis – Seidl”

  1. Electroball76
    22nd May 2022, 17:54

    At least Daniel was in full health and able to perform at his maximum?

    1. @Electroball76 so it would seem

  2. I can’t imagine what it must be like to drive in that heat while feeling so Ill. It was a great performance given the circumstances and he easily beat his more illustrious team mate again…. Norris is a class act.

    1. @Lee1 not sure why anyone considers Ricciardo to be more illustrious than Norris, he’s been an also-ran since he left Red Bull once it became obvious who had the greater talent. Now he’s just following the Alonso path of being at the wrong team at the wrong time in a bid that “this will be my year”.

      Even more in favour of Norris: last time I had tonsillitis I could barely make it out of bed except to vomit for over a week, so to get to 8th place in a Grand Prix in that heat is worthy of a superhuman

      1. I can’t say anything about his current form but Ricciardo won races in the same car driven by Verstappen—-He still has a resume worth note. Although time is running out to make good on that.

        1. @dmw he may have won races in the same car as Verstappen, but his decision to leave was clearly throwing away the best chance of driving a race winning car

        2. Daniel won races against a green rookie, who at the time was very prone to errors.

          We’ve basically got the 2014 season as the last and only one, where we could genuinely say this was perhaps a potential future F1 champion.

          I too have been caught up in the ‘Danny just needs a break’ for about the last six seasons. I’m still not that keen on RB, because of the way they ruthlessly made it clear that they were only interested in Max.

          But sometimes, we have to admit it when a driver clearly is not as good as we thought he was.

  3. I like Daniel. But I am seriously starting to wonder if he’s any good.

    Face it. Like Webber, we love his ‘matey’ high energy personality, but if he was as dour as Grosjean used to be or as intense as K-Mag, then I doubt if he’d get all the support he does.

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