Norris’ eSports obsession has on-track benefits

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris says a British GP without fans would be "weird".

Lando Norris says a British GP without fans would be "weird".

McLaren’s Lando Norris is keen to use his love of eSports to create a real-life benefit for his Formula 1 career.

The 19-year-old spoke recently about how the skills of virtual racing are becoming more transferable to real racing, and between the tracks and simulators, Norris admits that he “pretty much does racing non-stop”.

However, the Brit sees this as a very positive thing as it allows his to constantly develop his craft at and away from the tracks.

Speaking to the official F1 website, he said: “I pretty much do racing non-stop. I drive at the track, and when I get home I play on my simulator.

“I love doing it, it’s a passion for wanting to learn different things, to just constantly drive and become better at what I do.

“I’m always involved in something to do with racing and driving so my involvement is higher than most.”

Norris recalled a particularly draining day at the McLaren Technology Centre in 2017 over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend where his eSports passion proved hugely advantageous.

“I remember I spent the day at the MTC on Thursday and then headed home for a few hours’ sleep before heading back at midnight,” Norris said. “I didn’t finish until around 6pm, so that was a long day!

“But I learned so much from doing sessions like that. In that role, you’re spending hours and hours in the simulator doing all the correlations, giving feedback and suggesting what the team can do trackside.

“That was great for me, because it helped prepare me for now.”

Norris has teamed up with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to take part in the virtual Spa 24 hours race with Team Redline PRT sim racing squad from 20-21 July.

They would have featured in the Bathurst 12 Hour virtual event back in February, but co-driver Atze Kerhof crashed the BMW Z4 GT3 before they got the chance to take the wheel.

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