Norris ‘to get truth’ out of McLaren as team leader
Lando Norris has vowed to lean, push and get the truth out of people at McLaren in stepping up to the role of team leader this F1 season.
Norris enters his fifth Formula 1 campaign with McLaren this year, and with a rookie in Oscar Piastri as his team-mate, the 23-year-old knows the onus is on him to now steer the ship.
The British driver started in F1 in 2019 and spent his first two years alongside Carlos Sainz who at that time had four seasons under his belt.
In 2020, the appointment of the highly experienced Daniel Ricciardo meant the Australian carried a greater degree of knowledge and expertise.
But with Ricciardo’s departure and Piastri’s arrival, new team principal Andrea Stella sees Norris as the man to drive the team forward.
Asked whether Stella was justified in placing such a tag on Norris, he replied: “He’s correct. I definitely have more responsibility to uphold this season.
“Simply because I’m the one with more experience, both in Formula 1, but also with McLaren as a team so I can use that a lot more than Oscar would be able to, and use that to our advantage.
“Of course, Oscar is going to be able to bring a different perspective as he’s worked with a different team. That’s something I’ve not done before, so you can bring out a different side.
“But I’m the one that’s going to be able to bring the things that work, and speak about the things that didn’t in previous years.”
Norris a wise, old head at 23
Norris has another advantage over Piastri despite the 21-year-old’s success in the junior formulae in winning the Renault Eurocup, F2 and F3 titles in successive years.
Piastri spent last year as a reserve at Alpine, meaning there will be rust to shake off before he will finally feel comfortable in providing direction and guidance.
“I’m the one who probably feels a bit more at home at the minute being so long with the team,” added Norris.
“I can use that to the advantage of pushing people – the aerodynamicists, the designers.
“I will probably feel happier to go up to them and ask them questions, lean on them, and push them more than maybe Oscar will.
“Maybe I’m wrong but I think that just comes with time, getting to know people, and the experience of being with a team.
“So there’s that side of it, getting the truth out of people, pushing them, getting them to find that limit in whatever area that is within the team.
“I feel like that’s a bit more my job and my role rather than just giving general feedback about the car and going and driving.
“I think I have more responsibility to lead the team and push them on.”