Norris feels he has ‘stepped up’ on and off track

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Lando Norris

Lando Norris backs sprint qualifying to attract younger viewers.

Lando Norris feels that, being the McLaren driver with more experience of working with the team, he has stepped up both on and off track.

With Daniel Ricciardo replacing Carlos Sainz for the 2021 campaign, Norris headed into it having spent more time with the team than his team-mate for the first time.

Given that, he spoke before the season about his aim of taking more of a leading role and has thus far done so, beating Ricciardo in the first two races.

Analysing his year so far, he feels he has made improvements and risen to the task both in the car and out of it.

“I would say the bigger difference from last year to this is with me being the experienced guy in terms of time at McLaren when comparing to Daniel. He’s got the experience of being in Formula 1 but I have the experience of being with McLaren,” he said on the In The Fast Lane podcast.

“I think that’s where my responsibility has gone up a bit. I can refer to a lot more things about the past few years and how the car’s been, and also developing this year’s car.

“This year has been the year I’ve stepped up a little bit, not just in terms of driving the car better but my off-track performance helping the team, leading some areas a little bit more and having a bit more responsibility.”

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The second race of the season, at Imola, was one of the highlights of Norris’s career to date as he picked up his second F1 podium by finishing in P3.

It came after a qualifying session that left him dejected as he had a lap that would have secured his best ever Saturday result deleted as he exceeded track limits.

Learning from such mistakes and carrying those lessons into the race is one area in particular he feels he has improved in.

“I think days like that [Imola] are always the ones we look forward to because anything can happen,” he explained.

“It can go terribly wrong for you, like it did for a lot of other people, but it can also go very right like it did for me.

“So I think one of the things I’ve got better at from the last year and over the years is reflecting on Saturday, learning from the mistakes or things I didn’t do right, and then seeing Sunday as a new day and a new challenge to try and get a podium and some better results.”

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