Lando Norris says his relationship with McLaren F1 teammate Carlos Sainz is a healthy one so far with ‘no conflict, different decisions or opinions’.
After years of disappointments, McLaren is finally looking like a team with intent as it leads the midfield pack after six F1 races in the 2019 season in fourth. While the car is still not perfect, but the team including the drivers have done a solid job so far.
It was a bit of a slow start for Sainz with McLaren but the Spaniard has picked up well to be the best of rest leader in seventh with 18 points, while Norris is not far off behind in 11th with 12 to his name as both have accumulated 30 already for McLaren.
There seems to be harmony as well and enthusiasm to do well and go step by step in the effort to go back to where McLaren belongs. It is a new era for the Woking-based team with it going for its first non-title holder pairing in years, which could be a blessing in disguise.
For Norris, he feels there is a healthy relationship with senior pro Sainz, which is helping the team forward. In Monaco, the British driver had to play a supporting role to help the Spaniard keep sixth, he performed the job to the fullest for the benefit of the squad.
“It’s going pretty well, actually,” said Norris. “I’ve had teammate in other categories of course, but it’s always different when you get to F1. People try to make a lot more of fierce battle between teammates, a lot of media, always look into that kind of things.
“But we’re have a lot of fun and we’re friends away from the track. We’ve had a lot of fun so far this season. There has been no conflict. There have not been any points so far where we’ve had different decisions or different opinions on different things.
“We’ve gelled pretty well and for the team anyway that has been very positive. We have similar comments. We have different feelings and prefer different things on the car, but we work together, which also helps the team improve, go in a similar direction.
“That’s a positive thing [for the team]. Looking ahead to the future, I’m trying to improve the car, so that we become a better team. It’s been good fun and I’m sure it’s going to improve and help things going forward.”
Talking about the season, Norris feels the team has been ‘fairly strong’ to be a Top 10 contender at every race. The car looks balanced in terms of qualifying and race both but he reckons with the midfield being close, it always will depend on a lot of factors.