Lando Norris wants to be a little more serious this season, but was clear that he won’t become someone that he isn’t.
The Briton delivered a solid debut campaign with McLaren, scoring 49 points to finish P11 in a rookie season where he was hampered severely by bad luck.
And while his on-track showings were impressive enough, Norris became a star on social media off the track too for his jokes, memes and entertaining videos at a time when Formula 1 is trying to reach out to younger viewers.
He did get some negative comments though for his jovial approach to life in F1, and even before the 2020 season was set to start he admitted that he wanted to be a little more serious.
But Norris has grown even more as a social media figure in the past few months due to his Esports exploits as the virtual world of racing takes over from the lost real-life competitions.
Asked by Autosport if he plans to stick to his less jovial approach for 2020, he said: “Difficult to say.
“Once everything does go back to normal, I’m going have to switch my focus a bit more back to what I need to be doing once we are able to go back to McLaren and start working harder – go on the simulator and [work on] set-up.
“I won’t be home as much, I wouldn’t be able to stream as much and I’ll have to take things a bit more seriously again.
“[But] I’m not going to change; I’m not going to try and be someone I’m not.
“But I just need to make sure I just say the right things at the right time and not come across basically as someone who’s just trying to be be jokey and not taking things seriously.
“I just need to be the same me – I can still make jokes and stuff.
“But I just need to make sure I’m seen as the guy who’s focusing and every now and then makes jokes instead of is always joking and sometimes looks like he’s focusing. That’s all.”
Through his Twitch channel Norris has become arguably the leading figure of Esports racing currently, and he is proud to have helped bring virtual racing to a wider audience.
“It is the only thing going on at the moment – it’s the only really interesting thing for a lot of the motorsport fans and people that want to watch racing and watch us drivers,” he explained.
“So then you just get on top of that a bit more interaction with a lot of people – a bit more media and stuff.
“I think it’s a good thing not just for myself but for Esports in general, for sim racing.
“Because I think it’s just expanding the racing world – more and more people are getting into it, the numbers are all just getting higher and higher in terms of people participating and everything.”