It is the day of the presentation of McLaren and MotorLat was present during the press conference of the British driver that 2021 will be his third full season in the highest category of motorsport. McLaren will have one of the strongest driver line-ups on the entire grid, we are talking about Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian driver decided to bet on everything and changed teams, Renault being his previous team and McLaren the new one. Lando, by his side, had an incredible 2020 season, achieving his first podium during the Styrian Grand Prix. The performance of its two drivers saw McLaren finish third in the constructors' championship. These were some of the statements that Lando Norris made before the presentation of the new car that he will drive this year.
“I think lucky for me Covid wasn’t too bad, it was a few days of not having the sense of smell nor taste. I was just feeling just drained for a couple of weeks, but I fully recovered without a problem.” We have to remember that Lando tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago but the recovery was quick, and he is preparing himself for the 2021 season to start.
Regarding his 2020 season and his amazing performance, he stated: “I think Abu Dhabi was a perfect way to end last year’s season. Not perfect but really well done by my side. With the development of the car, we’ll have to drive the car slightly more different than last year so there are still things that we [Lando and his engineers] are understanding. Whatsoever, I come back to 2021 being more confident in myself.”
As we have commented, Lando’s new teammate will be Daniel Ricciardo and he confirmed that he is very excited to work with him and to drive both for McLaren, even though he did not have a lot of contact with him during the off-season. “The only contact I had with him was when you saw it, during press conferences, at the paddock, in interviews, those kinds of things. We never really spoke. I guess it’s similar to Carlos, I probably knew Daniel a little bit more than when I knew Carlos entering Formula 1. I never spoke to Carlos once until the first day we actually met here at the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre].”
“He [Daniel] is a guy who can win races, he can score podiums, he is strong in probably every single area, for me to kind of learn a little bit more from a different driver it’s to have a different approach to things that you get to know from one particular driver. It’s good for me to see how another driver is while racing.” He affirmed.
“To switch it up and get to know someone different, learn how he approaches races and his own mindset of F1 is also very interesting, but it is also going to be a little bit difficult of working with him comparing to how I worked with Carlos [Sainz] in terms of helping the team out and working together as just teammates rather than the way I used to work things with Carlos.”
Another thing we have to keep in mind is that when Lando joined Formula 1, so did Alex Albon and George Russell, but during the winter, Albon lost his Red Bull seat and will not drive in F1 during this year. This is what Lando thinks about Albon’s situation: “It’s difficult to put it into words. He’s a good friend of mine, I’ve not really spoken that much about that situation with him. I guess I feel a little bit sorry because he was always a really good driver and it’s tough and it just highlights how tough Formula 1 is.”
Lando told MotorLat and other selected media that the most difficult part of the 2021 season will be to close the gap to teams like Red Bull or Mercedes rather than to keep teams like Ferrari behind them. “We have confidence in ourselves, we are an extremely good team we have fought back in the last few years. Ferrari are extremely strong and competitive. There are going to be races where they are going to be faster than us and hopefully more races where they are slower than us. But it’s not just them, is every team on the grid.”
The MCL35M has been already unveiled and this will be the main tool Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will use in order to perform and to achieve great results if, as Lando said, they want to close the gap to Mercedes and Red Bull.