Lando Norris is seen today as one of Formula One’s rising stars with a talent far beyond his years. He came second in the F2 Championship in 2018, which prompted McLaren to graduate him from reserve driver status to full time Fernando Alonso replacement. He recently admitted that he wasn’t sure he was ready for F1 when the 2019 season started.
During the launch of McLaren’s MCL35 2020 chassis Thursday, speaking to Sky Sports, Norris had this to say: “It feels great. If I think back to this time last year, well I can’t say the word I was going to say, but I was pooping myself a lot last year. Especially at this point.”
Since Norris can’t say it, I will. Shitting. The word he was looking for was shitting.
Across the 2019 season the McLaren driver did manage to score 49 points to finish 11th in the world drivers’ championship. When you consider his six race non-finishes, it’s possible he could have done better with a bit better luck. With all of that under his belt, Norris is much more confident with a full season of F1 under his belt. Much like Harry Potter throwing out a sick patronus charm at the end of Azkaban, but without the time travel paradox, Norris knows he can do it because he’s already done it. Earned confidence.
Norris continued, “Now I’m a lot more confident, and a lot more relaxed and that prepares me better for this season.”
The car, it should be said, has much more Norris DNA in the design this year. He didn’t have much input into the engineering process of last year’s car. The 2019 chassis was his elder wand, it never responded to him, because he wasn’t meant to be its master.
“I pretty much designed the whole thing,” joked Norris. “This car is based on last year’s and everything we went through last year and comments and discussion between us as drivers has been put into this car and based around that. It’s a lot more ‘my car’ – we’ve had the input into making this so it feels more like ‘my baby’ and I can’t wait to get driving it!”
And speaking of the new MCL35, here it is. Neat!