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.”
While streaming just in the last week alone we managed to raise just over £10K towards @BillyMonger and his incredible efforts towards Comic Relief and on top of that another £25K given to various charities with thanks to @TwitchRivals and @Activision. Made me smile, thank you.
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) March 9, 2021
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.