Gaming came before racing in Norris’ childhood

Jon Wilde
Lando Norris

Lando Norris has revealed gaming, rather than racing, was his first love as a child growing up.

The McLaren driver enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom after taking up competitive karting at the age of seven and was only 19 when he made his Formula 1 debut at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, scoring his first points only a fortnight later in Bahrain.

Since then, the Briton has continued his upward trajectory and in 2021 will have high hopes of adding a second podium finish to his CV for a McLaren team he helped to finish third in last year’s Constructors’ World Championship.

Norris, who turned 21 in November, is also well known for streaming his gaming exploits on Twitch – and he has revealed the console came before the kart during his childhood.

“Games definitely came first,” Norris told the BBC Sounds Press X to Continue podcast.

“When I was four or five years old, my dad used to play Gran Turismo. He never really got to do any racing himself – he was a cyclist – but he loved racing.

“Growing up, watching him, I eventually got to the point where I wanted to beat him, so then I became very competitive and got into racing.

“We had a little steering wheel with pedals and I would sit on my dad’s lap and have a go.”

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Norris is most definitely among the new breed of down-to-earth F1 drivers to whom the fans, especially the younger generation, can relate – and even interact with.

“A lot of people think I just race cars that go round in a circle and that’s about it,” he added.

“But I think until you really see it – and you’ve maybe watched Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix – you see more behind the scenes and what a driver and a team has to go through to accomplish things.

“Formula 1 is quite tight-knit, not many people get to see the driver’s side of it. I think that’s why I also stream a lot, because people get to just see me.

“I’m just a normal guy who streams and plays games every day. I’m not this magical kind of guy.”

Norris and his new team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, will be trying to give McLaren a flying start to the 2021 F1 season in the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.

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