McLaren confirm Norris battled through tonsillitis in Spain

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris takes a drink. Barcelona May 2022.

McLaren driver Lando Norris drinks from his bottle walking through the paddock. Spain May 2022.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed Lando Norris has been suffering with tonsillitis this weekend in Barcelona.

Norris has spoken about how poorly he has been sleeping and how he’s struggled to rouse energy in the past few days, and was unwell to a degree that saw him fail to attend the pre-race national anthems, as well as being unable to immediately conduct his post-race media duties.

All the more impressive for the McLaren driver, then, who battled through his illness to rise from P11 on the grid to take an eighth-placed finish on Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix – with his team principal confirming he will be resting up before next weekend’s race in Monaco.

“Obviously when you’re not feeling well all weekend and when your energy levels are low with the tonsillitis he was suffering from, it was a very challenging race – especially in these hot temperatures as well,” Seidl said, quoted by The Race.

“He was pretty flat after the race but thanks to the great medical support within the team and he has around him.

“We need to make sure he has some good rest now the next four days before we then go again in Monaco.”

Despite his medical concerns, Seidl added that the team’s doctor gave Norris the go-ahead to race on Sunday – albeit uncomfortably from the Briton’s point of view.

He overtook team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and kept his place inside the top 10, giving McLaren points in unlikely circumstances.

“Obviously as a team, and from my side, we can’t thank him enough for battling through and he showed a great fighting spirit because in the end, he enabled us to score these four points,” he said.

“It was just great to see the commitment from his side. But, at the same time, [it] is also clear we obviously have a doctor involved in decisions like that.

“And we would never risk the health of Lando, just to be clear on that as well. The doctor gave the green light today, and after it was clear from his side that he will give it a go, we went for it.”

Norris does not have long before he is in action again, with the Monaco Grand Prix weekend starting in just a few days’ time.

McLaren do have backup options if Norris is unavailable, with the team having a deal in place with Alpine to use Oscar Piastri if needed, as well as the opportunity to borrow Stoffel Vandoorne or Nyck de Vries from Mercedes.

While Seidl is confident his race driver will be ready to race again, he’s happy to have reserves in place if needed.


“With the medical support we are having as well, and with having the possibility now to rest for four days, I’m hopeful that Lando will be fit,” said Seidl.

“But we have different options in terms of reserve drivers prepared in case of an emergency.”