Lando Norris says he will make some changes to his use of social media after negative feedback he received last year.
The Briton not only excelled on-track in his debut season, picking up 49 points and beating team-mate Carlos Sainz 11-10 in the qualifying battle, but he also became an important part of F1’s aims to appeal to younger audiences for his fun use of social media.
There were no shortages of funny videos and memes from the youngster, something which he said was important to give fans a better insight into F1 behind-the-scenes, but for 2020 we may see less of that after Norris admitted that he did receive negative feedback.
“But there’s times when sometimes maybe I need to – not shift my focus because I still worked hard, every time I needed to work on things and focus, I did – but things can get portrayed quite differently from what I know and see myself compared to the outside world.
“A lot of people see me make jokes and whatever, and therefore they turn and put a lot of blame [for] mistakes I do on me having fun and them seeing me look like I not focus compared to other drivers.
“Other people don’t post funny videos and whatever. So then they think that’s the reason for why I make mistakes sometimes. I do things and they put the blame on just the fact the I have more fun and enjoy things more than other people. It’s just that. I don’t want me being portrayed that way, basically. But I’m not going to change a lot it’s just small things here and there.”
Norris said that “90%” of the time he isn’t affected by the criticism, but he does want to find a better “balance” between his racing and having fun online.
“I’d say 90% of the time it doesn’t affect me at all,” he explained. “I find it quite a good laugh to see what people can come up with, ideas and rumours people have and think about.
“But there’s still times when you see things that kind of play on your mind a bit. I wouldn’t say it’s affected me in a good or bad way.
“There’s things which, like with me maybe toning down having fun and publicising that side of me, you see a comment like people blaming things on things which just aren’t true, but that’s what they believe it is based upon. And it’s quite difficult being the world we’re in in the paddock and then what people see on TV and on social media, things can still look very different.
“So it’s just trying to get the balance right I think and trying to put them both together as well as possible with how people see me.”