Sainz and I ‘Weren’t Best Mates’ During Early McLaren Days: Lando Norris

Published 05/20/2021, 4:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix || REUTERS


Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were one of the best teammate duos in Formula One for the past two years. With a chemistry that had no match from other teams, the young duo formed a bond that seemed extremely special, not just to them, but fans across the world.

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However, Sainz has shifted to Ferrari this season and Norris just signed a multi-year extension with McLaren. This year, Norris has a comical yet competitive teammate in Daniel Ricciardo. While they have shared hilarious moments together, they are still working out their dynamic as teammates.

Lando Norris believes he and Carlos Sainz weren’t “best mates” in the beginning

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In 2019, Lando Norris became the youngest British debutant in F1 at just 19 years of age. With a 24-year-old teammate in Carlos Sainz, the two drivers developed a brotherly bond between them, the likes of which are rarely seen in F1.

However, according to Norris, their friendship did not have a quick beginning. Relating his early days with Sainz to his current days with Ricciardo, Norris said, “We’re still in the early days and if I remember where Carlos and I were at this point in our first year, we weren’t best mates at that time.

“We were learning from each other, getting to know each other, and I think that’s the same with me and Danny at the moment.”

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Norris on Ricciardo: We’re very different characters

The young Briton also spoke about his current teammate, Daniel Ricciardo. With the Australian in his first season with McLaren, Norris believes he’s already learned a lot from Ricciardo.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 12: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren F1 and Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren F1 look on from the grid during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)

Norris said, “We’re very different characters. Although some people might say we’re similar, I think we’re very different, and that’s a good thing.

“Even though he’s had a tough start, he’s still been very good in some areas and I’ve already been able to learn from him. Things are going well between us, we’re getting along and working well as teammates which is most important.”

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With Norris’ new deal, McLaren have their drivers locked with the team beyond 2022. And with new technical regulations coming in effect next season, McLaren might have the formula they need to have a more successful future. Could we see the Woking-based outfit battle for the title next year?

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Sanket Nair

155 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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