Lando Norris wary 'more scrutiny' in F1 will lead to greater criticism
Lando Norris accepts that he will be “rubbished” at various stages of 2019 due to the greater attention that will be placed upon him in Formula 1.
Norris has stepped up to Formula 1 with McLaren after a strong record in junior categories, including titles in Formula 4, Formula 3 and the runner-up position in Formula 2.
The British youngster has accepted that he will face criticism through the course of his rookie campaign in Formula 1 – but has learned to focus on important lessons.
“Overall there’s going to be things which I’m not going to be great at, there’s going to be times I’ll make mistakes, 100 per cent,” said Norris.
“It’s just allowing people to help me try and iron those out to make them as small as possible, or happen the least amount [of times] possible.
“It’s very different when you get to Formula 1, knowing if I make one small mistake it’ll be in the media, a lot more people will see it, than if I do it in Formula 2 and Formula 3 and so on.
“There’s more pressure knowing you’re under more scrutiny of not making silly mistakes or having a lock-up on your qualifying lap, but it’s going to happen.
“No driver is perfect, and it’s going to happen to every driver.
“I’m sure there’ll be times when I make those mistakes, but it’s just knowing that’s part of it, no-one’s perfect, I’m sure there’s times when I’ll do things wrong that no-one’s going to like and everyone will think I’m terrible or rubbish or whatever, I’m going to go through those periods I know.
“It’s just understanding that and knowing what I should look at and what I shouldn’t look at.”
McLaren has a subdued recent record with young drivers; Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen both departed after a year while Stoffel Vandoorne was axed after his sophomore campaign.
Norris reckons his preparations so far, allied to McLaren’s greater focus on the human element, means he will avoid a similar fate.
“I know Stoffel is a very good driver, no matter what his results, he’s an extremely good driver better than most other drivers in the world,” he said. “I respect him massively.
“Talking to the guys here at McLaren we’ve done more days than ever in terms of preparation.
“I live 20 mins away in Guildford so I can come in whenever I need to, whenever I think or come up with an idea that I need to work on this area, I can drive on the sim, learn more about the car, to do whatever I need to do to be able to feel confident.
“At the same time they’ve spent a lot of time reviewing what they don’t think they’ve done well enough or they don’t think they’ve done right and trying to help me in those areas.
“Just like with the car trying to understand better what was not good effectively and what areas they need to improve, it was the same with the drivers.
“It was not just Stoff but Fernando [Alonso] as well, in terms of how they’re able to help the drivers better, which will make their lives easier. And have a better driver altogether.
“The days and amount of time is the biggest thing that’s given me the confidence and from what they say the plan they’ve put in place is a much stronger and efficient one than they’ve ever done before.”