McLaren’s Lando Norris feel that at times in his rookie F1 season he joked about too much and wasn’t serious when he needed to be.
It didn’t seem to hold the British driver back on the race track as he won the McLaren qualifying battle 11-10 against Carlos Sainz, while he drummed up one of the best relationships with his team-mate F1 has seen in a long time.
Norris’ antics also helped him to build up a strong social media following as the sport looks to reach out to younger viewers.
Despite the jokes though McLaren would finish P4 in the Constructors’ Championship in 2019, their best result since 2012, and Norris played a big role in that achievement.
But, he still feels like he can do a better job of being more serious.
“In some ways I think I’ve been almost been too relaxed, and had too much fun,” Norris told Autosport.com.
“When it’s become more serious, I haven’t focused as much as I should do and so on, and worked on as many areas as I should do, I think I started to take a little bit for granted.
“It’s been good and I’ve been able to have fun in my first season, I’ve not just come in and been surrounded by too many serious things and people.
“At the same time and I think that’s also helped in my ability to work on several things and improve as a driver.
“Maybe sometimes I’ve pushed it a bit too much in terms of making it too jokey, and not focusing as much as I should.
“There’s a compromise, I still just want to have fun sometimes, wear my own jumper [instead of McLaren team gear] and things like that.”
Norris also built a bond with fellow prankster Daniel Ricciardo with the pair hilariously bringing the British GP driver press conference to a halt with their laughter.
But, Norris says that unlike himself, Ricciardo’s experience and achievements in the sport gives him the right to be relaxed.
Asked if Ricciardo showed that it was okay for drivers to show a jovial side, Norris replied: “Yeah, but at the same time he’s in his whatever [ninth] year of F1 and in his very few years of F1 I don’t think he was as jokey and fun with everything compared to what he is now.
“Not because he wasn’t [fun], but because he took it seriously and had to prove what he could do and then he was able to be more himself.
“I have to make sure I don’t let people use what I do and who I am as an excuse – ‘it’s his first year and he doesn’t take it too seriously’.
“Over time maybe I’ll become more relaxed like him but I think I still have to look more serious from the outside sometimes than I’d want to be just so people don’t use things that aren’t true as excuses.”