F1: Lando Norris – 95% of the time you ask me about Lewis Hamilton & # 39;


"It was a good time," says the 18-year-old who learned he will be on the network next year on McLaren's orange apron as part of an elite band of 20 elite racing drivers.

It was a relatively ordinary weekend for Norris at the Italian Grand Prix in September until he was called to the boss's office.

The British, not 19 until November 13, had completed his duties as a tester and a backup driver of McLaren. His performance in what was only the second sessions of F1, in wet conditions, demonstrating his speed and ability.

"I was about to get to the car to go to the airport after the weekend and Zac called me," Norris remembers for the meeting that will inevitably change his life, even if the teen insists, negotiating headlines.

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Zak Brown is McLaren CEO, a man who described Norris as "a huge talent," killing the huge Englishman as the fighter to help the team rebuild and become the power a decade ago when they won titles bending toward the back of the grid – it was routine.

Norris has already passed an early test. Once he said he would replace Stoffel Vandoorne, driver eight years ahead of him, next season Norris proved he was able to keep a secret. Neither his mom, Cisca, had said he would become the next McLaren king until the morning of the official announcement.

"The first guys I can say are my manager and my trainer because almost everything knows everything," explains Norris.

"It was the only two guys I was allowed to say. It was a bit strange that I could not say too much about anyone but it was obviously a nice feeling inside.

"Then I told my dad, he had the opportunity to know why I had to sign the contract and was present for it, but even my mom is not allowed to say anything about. It was a bit annoyed not to say earlier, but it is.

Norris's mom cried her breakfast, telling her he would start the next stage of his journey into the racing style. The tears poured out for the countless childhood weekends that passed away from home for the hard work, dedication and dreams her son had already achieved.

"I have been away since I was almost eight, I traveled to the paths of cars and then I went to Europe and traveled more," says Norris, a veteran of seven different lower classes of motor sport and one champion in three, including the younger European champion triple locations in 2017.

"Then I have to do more things, more meetings, more days of the media and eventually move to my own place. I have moved away from my mom but always been there to support me."

Norris portrayed driving during the Japanese Grand Prix

Norris is close to his family. He travels to the tribes with his father, Adam, once a talented street biker with ambitions to compete in the Tour de France before making his million in investment banking. There is a big brother Oli, who sells simulators, the oldest of Flo's younger sisters, a talented horse rider and another sister, also called Cisca, who is still in school.

His father, says Norris, has the most influence on his career, both for his financial and emotional support. "He brought me to Kart after school when I was young," he says. "He took me to racing and he has supported me since then. That's why I'm here now."

It was a family decision to allow 16-year-old Norris to leave school, the independent Millfield in Somerset, to focus on his struggles. Order delivery was an easy decision for a boy who admits openly that he was not a scholar, but leaving behind his friends was the biggest sacrifice he had to do.

In 2016 Norris won the European Championship Formula Renault 2.0 and Eurocup Formula 2.0

"I've never enjoyed school and never been so good at school so it's not the biggest thing, but the social aspect of the school, leaving your friends, you lose contact with them a little and now I have more friends on the track than , what friends keep in touch with the school, "says Norris, reflecting the cost of building it on the network.

"This is one of the biggest things: you are never home, you always travel, you have different interests and you focus on different things, only the time of returning home and seeing them, you do not have that at all, but at the end of the day , worth it. "

Speaking on the phone during the weekend Grand Prix in the US, Norris' answers are considered, there is no indication of autonomy. Twitter feed is full of gifs and intelligent remarks, just like the usual teenage account. The prospect of history has not transformed the head of a young man.

Today he lives in a joint apartment in Guildford, an English city about an hour from London, with Formula 3 driver Sacha Fenestraz. At the first press conference following McLaren's announcement that it will climb at its headquarters, Norris said he had not yet plans to move to the glamor and glamor and, of course, the favorable tax system in Monaco, home of many drivers of the past and the current year .

"Given the current situation in the group, they need more help than they ever have been, and I will help them as long as I can enjoy a nice life in Monaco," he told assembled reporters.

Life, however, has lived a lot of speed in recent months as Norris combines F1 and F2 – where it is currently third in the overall rankings – and squeezes the proliferation of media interviews. "It was very crazy," says Norris in the weeks following McLaren's announcement in September.

"On cards, in European races, you have cams and movie crews and interviews. At about 13 I was already starting to work a little, and it is growing more and more with every level you get, especially when you get into cars – and when you hit F1 is an even higher upward step, it's something you get used to over time.

Inevitably, parallels have been drawn with five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. "I would say 95% of the interviews I have asked about Lewis Hamilton," he says without any inconvenience.

Comparisons are perhaps unavoidable. Hamilton was also an England F1 rider who learned his trade under McLaren's umbrella, although Hamilton made his debut in F1 in 2007 in a more competitive car. However, for all the similarities, their upbringing was polar oppositions. Hamilton grew up in a token house at Stevenage, while Norris's father earned $ 255 million in financial services.

Norris did not ask for advice from his British counterpart next year. Instead, he learns from Fernando Alonso, McLaren's two-time world champion who will be retiring at the end of the season.
The pair worked together for the first time during Daytona 24 in January, where they shared one of the cars organized by the United team of Brown's Autosports.
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"I did not really work with Fernando in any F1 races, so we were not as close as we are now," says Norris of Daytona, where he overcame the remaining field during a stint in the evening rain.

"This was my first experience as a teammate. It was a good idea to see the effort and what is competent in terms of pushing a team and helping everyone around it.

"I would say the biggest thing is how much effort he puts in everything, how he prepares – looking at the data, the video, before each weekend match – the hard work he puts on every weekend even if he does not struggle for winning.

"He seems even more motivated than ever before, you really see what has been made, there are pieces that helped me and advised me, but I never asked what help he could give me the next year."

Alonso has also completed Norris, saying after Daytona: "The things he did were very impressive. Teamwork, preparation and focus."

While Alonso's time in the sport is almost up, next season, Norris will be among a new wave of talents hoping to do the good of the championship. What would be a good season? He is still sure.

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"It's hard to say what I want to do next season," he says.

"Overall, I just want to be a good, stable season, a good start for what I hope is my Formula One career.

"There are obviously some goals here and where I want to hit." There is always one, you hit a teammate, trying to reach the top five, or a podium, but beyond that there is no real big goal next season.