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F1 | Lando Norris on “toughest” races completed with tonsillitis

The McLaren driver talked about what helped him to get through extremely had rounds in Barcelona and Monaco while recovering from tonsillitis, especially mental focus and using a water bottle.

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F1 | Lando Norris on “toughest” races completed with tonsillitis
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic Motorlat

Racing in Monaco has been in the last years a happy occasion for Lando Norris, with the McLaren driver securing an important P3 in 2021 and ending last week in P6. In spite of earning less points, his result is still pretty impressive, as Norris was still recovering from the strong tonsillitis which caught before the Spanish GP.

The British driver had stated immediately after the race in Barcelona that it had been "one of the hardest races ever" for him, but luckily his conditions improved in time for the followong round.

Norris retuned to discuss the topic after the Monaco race, explaining how he coped with the illness while in the car and how he managed to raced despite some thoughts of pulling out:

"There were certainly points, quite a few points. The one thing which really saved everything was the fact it was the first time I had used a drinks bottle in the car."

"I tried using one when I first came into Formula 1 and I hated it, I'm not a fan of it all. I've never used one since, I don't even drive with a bottle in the car, but we thought it would be a good idea to try, and it really saved me."

The addition to his usual racing routine proved successful, as in the end it helped him to reach not only the end of the race, but also the Top 10, scoring important points in the midfield fight for P4 in the constructor's championship.

"Already by the end of the warm-up lap before the start, I had to have a few sips because I was struggling. I just had to keep sipping like every lap, which is not a nice thing because it gets warm so quickly.

"But without that, I probably wouldn't have made it past two, three laps. That was the rate of decline, physically, mentally, how much I was struggling. Just a few sips per lap managed to really save me quite a bit."

Norris added that while returns would have been the easiest way out, considering how difficult it was for him to race while sick, he decided to stay out.

"Of course, it crossed my mind many times. It was something that had to be taken into consideration with how much I was struggling. We did everything we could to make sure I was in the best place possible."

"We had to give it a try. I'd have hated to have finished the race weekend and not tried at least to do a few laps, that's not my mentality. I'll admit it crossed my mind many times, but decisions were made, and in the end, it was the correct one."

He also talked about how he handled the preparation for the new round held in Monaco, where he moved from England in the off-season, and how staying at home helped his recovery from tonsillitis.

"Here it's nice, enjoyable to sleep in my own house, in my own bed, waking up a bit later, just really being more relaxed, even being back home in the evening it definitely helped me. It has been a nice thing for me to have this week, just being able to be at home, chill."

Even with all the benefits coming from being so close to home, it still wasn't an easy round for the Imola podium finisher.

"It was very tough. I think also because I had that thought of it would be much easier if I just stop now, but I mean I already had hose kind of thoughts on Friday, and on Saturday."

"The length of the race is what was a real killer for me. Even if these thoughts definitely crossed my mind, I think of something that motivates me so it gets my adrenaline going, like a good race or when things are going well.

"So, a few laps in when the pace was feeling already pretty strong and I was moving forward a little bit, that was an extra motivation for me to keep going," he remarked.

Mental preparation was as important as physical for such an hard race to be competing in while being ill, but he managed to conclude it again:

"There's always that little bit which was 'I managed to do the last lap, one more won't hurt', so I just had to keep saying it to myself for sixty laps which is not a nice thing. Probably one of my toughest races again, not just physically but mentally, just to keep pushing through it."

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