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Helping out at McLaren ‘crucial to get to know the team’

A photograph of Lando Norris helping McLaren mechanics dismantle his car after Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was widely shared on social media.

It may be an uncommon sight, but the 20-year-old says it was no one-off for him, as he’s done the same in earlier in his career including in F1.

“It’s something I’ve done quite a few times before,” said Norris on Wednesday, “it’s just never gone on social media.” The picture was posted by McLaren’s group communications director, then picked up by many other accounts.

“It’s not something that I feel like I need to put on social media,” Norris explained. “It’s something I did already in 2018, something I’ve done since karting really.

“In karting we used to always have to, post-race, clean all the karts and the chain guard and the airbox and the majority of things. It’s something I’ve always kind of enjoyed doing. It’s something I loved doing as a kid, taking things apart and so on.”he

Norris said he continued the practice when he first arrived in Formula 1 driving practice sessions for McLaren in 2018.

“When I was doing some of the FP1s, in like America, Japan, Mexico, Abu Dhabi I think too in ’18, and in 2019, I did it sometimes.

“I haven’t done it every time. It’s more often when my flight is on a Monday. A lot of the time flights are on a Sunday evening, and you have your thing and it’s timed, you have your debriefs and everything and you go to the airport and you’re on the way home.

“Whereas the times when it’s on the Monday or the next day then I get the opportunity to stay with the mechanics and go and help them out.”

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Norris said there were two reasons why he prefers to help his team out post-race when he can. “One is because I enjoy it. It’s just quite cool, who wouldn’t want to go and take apart a Formula 1 car and get to explore it a bit and work with mechanics and so on? It’s just good fun. And you learn something new about and it’s just a bit more hands-on.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2020
“I thought I can help them and make their lives a little bit easier”

“And two, it’s good for the team. It’s good for myself and my mechanics that we’re working together. I’m helping them, it makes their job much easier.

“They’ve just done the whole race weekend, they did three weeks in a row. And I thought I can just help them and make their lives a little bit easier.

“It’s not something I chose to do just because we did three weeks in a row, because it’s something I’ve done several times before. It’s more the fact of just helping them anyway, me enjoying it, getting to spend some time [with them]. We have some good laughs. We have some jokes. And I enjoy spending time and working with the mechanics and the engineers. Will, my engineer, does it too.”

“It’s a crucial part of getting to know them and improving our atmosphere as a team,” he added. “I enjoy it and it’s good fun and the only other thing I would be doing is going back, lying in my bed and watching Netflix. And I prefer to take apart a Formula 1 car than to do that.”

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