Lando Norris: Support and criticism have helped mould McLaren driver

Lando Norris: Support and criticism have helped mould McLaren driver

Support and criticism from McLaren bosses Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl have helped progress the Formula 1 career of Lando Norris.

Lando Norris has undergone quite the transformation during his three years in Formula 1. Starting off with a cautious approach in year one, more often than not letting competing drivers pass rather than putting up a fight. He has made the transition into a much more rounded competitor.

Spurred on with encouragement from McLaren CEO Zak Brown and Team Principal Andreas Seidl during year two of his career, Norris started to show quite marked development in terms of his racing craft. His driving style became that much more aggressive. Defending against overtakes and ramping up the aggression while on the offensive.

While this season has seen the 21-year-old step it up another notch with his best year to date. He has been one of the standout drivers of 2021, currently sitting third in the Drivers’ Championship behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Norris says the support he has received from his McLaren bosses, along with constructive criticism when needed, have helped him progress quicker as a driver.

“I think it’s been hugely important,” Norris said. “Having them support you in tough times and criticise you when you need to be criticised.

“It’s not all about trying to make you feel good but telling you the truth and tell you: ‘You’ve just got to be better in this area, and you’ve got to be better in this area’.

“But they just want to help you as well, it’s not like all you have to do is impress them. They also want to help you do a better job and maximise yourself.

“And it’s definitely helped me progress quicker, become a better driver. I still feel pressure from them, so it’s not like it’s easy and we’re best mates or whatever and I can get away with everything.

“They’re still my bosses and I don’t want to make mistakes; I don’t want to make them look bad. And I’ve still got a job at the end of the day where I have to perform and go out and do a very good job.

“It’s also in those tougher times or the times you struggle, or the times you need that kick up the arse to go and do a better job in whatever area, that they give you that. And I think it’s a very good combination of these types of things that they’re able to help on.”

There is no denying the arrival of Brown at McLaren, followed by the recruitment of Seidl shortly after, have helped transform the team back into serious competitors. The work they have put into Norris is obvious, with bright things expected in the future for the young Brit.