McLaren F1 chief Andreas Seidl talks about the attitude and mentality shown by Lando Norris in F1 Belgian GP and also how team is moving ahead from Hungary.
Norris has been unlucky in the last two grands prix. An early retirement at Hungary owing to Turn 1 mayhem while at the Spa-Francorchamps weekend, he lost on a possible first ever pole position when on a flying lap, he lost it at Eau Rouge. With respect, it wasn’t really his fault if look at the W Series qualifying incident at the same location.
It was that kind of weekend all around with the weather. In F1 since 2019, Norris is getting better and maturing into a fine driver as we have all seen this season. He has outshone his new teammate, the more experienced Danny Ricciardo. But that is not what this is about.
There is a new side to Norris, a new maturity, a mentality, a new dedication. He is still a happy chirpy individual but he is not afraid to take the blame, to raise his hand, to say sorry – as we saw at Spa, where the conditions did play a role. Seidl is certainly pleased with this attitude and overall culture of the F1 outfit.
“First of all, I think with everything Lando has shown so far since he entered Formula 1 is clearly showing that he has everything he needs in order to become a top driver in the future in Formula 1,” said Seidl, when asked about Norris’ attitude of no incidents, which is how title contenders usually go about their business.
“He’s only in his third year now, but it’s impressive to see what he’s pulling off inside the car and also outside the car, in terms of how he works together with the team and how he voices clearly what he needs from the team in order to perform and all of his qualities. For sure his personality and character is very self-critical, as well, and is the first one to raise his hand if it’s something on his side.
“That’s an attitude I like a lot, we like a lot in the team and I want to have this culture attitude from every single member of the team because that’s the only way for getting better as a team and moving forward,” summed up Seidl. In fact, Hungary for Norris was his first DNF of the season and in a long time to come from the 2020 season.
George Russell is Mr. Saturday and Norris up until a month ago was Mr. Consistency and it went wrong in Hungary, not his fault as he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seidl was fairly philosophical about it and not that downbeat to be fair, preferring to concentrate on the battle ahead, when asked about the Brit’s mindset after the streak ending.
“I think what happened in Hungary was nothing we could do as a team,” said Seidl. “On drivers’ side, it is to just forget about it and move on. It’s a part of the sport we’re in, that happens from time to time. In general, I would say, we had a very good run in terms of staying out of incidents in the last 2-3 years, so it’s a matter of time and some happen.
“It was good for one the Pirelli test that we did that after the Hungary race, but after shutdown, the batteries were recharged for the second half of the season and I think that’s probably for the entire team. We have a competitive package, battle with Ferrari and also with some other teams that we shouldn’t underestimate also those teams and this battle, we have focus on ourselves, weekend per weekend,” summed up Seidl.
By all accounts, it is a very cool calm and collected Seidl here, as he is not dwelling on Hungary, as they had a month to get over it anyhow. The focus is on the battle with Ferrari they are involved in.
The story was written by Neil Farell
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