Lando Norris will be youngest driver on the Formula 1 grid next year, but that does not limit his aspirations of wanting to beat his McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz next year in every race.
Norris is probably the most hyped rookie to enter the top flight in recent years, and it is clear that he does not intend playing second fiddle to the driver five years his senior in the sister orange car.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, during the launch of OnePlus6T McLaren edition, Norris said, “My ideal aim is to beat Carlos at every race and in every qualifying session. That is an unrealistic goal to set at the moment but I will do the best job I can and complete as much preparation as I can to be ready for it.”
At 24 Sainz is still young but has started 81 grand prix races already which equates to relatively vast experience compared to Norris who has seven FP1 sessions on his CV.
“Every year when I have gone into a new series, my team-mate will have had one, maybe two seasons in that discipline, whereas Carlos is heading into his fifth year in F1. So, that’s a big difference.”
“There are also some circuits I haven’t been to before – Singapore, Montreal, Melbourne – and tracks like Monaco where it is not always easy to be super-quick in an F1 car straightaway. But, of course, I would like to beat him, and that is my aim, and my goal.”
George Russell also moves up to Formula 1 this year, the Formula 2 champion who soundly beat Norris this season was rewarded with a Williams drive for his efforts, making it yet another British driver on the big stage dominated by fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton.
When asked about the rivalry between himself and Russell, Norris explained “I don’t think George being in F1 will ease the pressure on me. If anything there will be more pressure knowing that there is another guy you can be compared to. If he does really well and beats me in some areas it will be a bad thing for me.”
“If I was the only rookie then I can’t be compared to anyone other than my teammate, and I could look like a hero even if I am doing really badly. But it’s a good thing he is in Formula One and I do look forward to the races next year, wherever we are on the grid,” added Norris.
With so many driver changes and intriguing partnerships, the stage is set for some riveting entertainment and contests within just about every team, many of these a battle of youth versus experience such as the Sainz-Norris which is now game on apparently!
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