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Norris: Beating Sainz 'very unlikely' in 2019

  • Published on 22 Jan 2019 15:58
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lando Norris says that beating teammate Carlos Sainz in 2019 is an unrealistic expectation for his maiden season in Formula 1. The Briton will make his debut in just under two months' time at the Australian Grand Prix with McLaren.

Norris was promoted to a full-time driver after Stoffel Vandoorne struggled throughout the 2018 campaign. Sainz was announced shortly after Fernando Alonso's confirmation that he would not return to F1 in 2019 following 17 years in the sport.

And while beating your teammate is a primary goal for most F1 drivers, Norris says that he will focus on learning from Sainz, who boasts four years of F1 experience, rather than aiming to beat the Spaniard.

"I need to do well and show I’m a worthy driver in F1,” Norris said.  “I guess for every driver the aim is to beat their teammate. In the ideal world, if I was perfect, I’d be able to beat every teammate that I have, in every race. 

“That’s very unlikely to happen, I’m not going to be in that situation. There’s things i’m going to need to learn from Carlos [Sainz] and different drivers and improve as a driver.  There’s definitely going to be things that I’m not very good at, things I can improve. 

“Of course I want to be able to beat him in some races but it’s very unlikely someone will thrash their teammate every race. It’s my learning year, first year of hopefully many. I want to do well but I need to learn and make progress to become a better driver. In the ideal world I will be able to do well and beat everyone in every race but that’s just a vision."

McLaren has already insisted that it will allow time for Norris to get up to speed. The 19-year-old joins the grid along with fellow Formula 2 graduates George Russell and Alexander Albon.

Norris was tipped as an F2 title favourite prior to the start of the 2018 season but only picked up one victory across the year. However, he says that his past season has taught him to lower expectations and aim to successfully develop.

“I have been able to experience different things to other drivers but F1 is very different. Every year there is big changes and you can’t always be where you want to be. I think that’s something I’ve got to learn and something I’ve learnt already from last year, how you have to develop and progress. To become better as a team.” 

Replies (5)

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  • To start with a statement like that, doesn't give him much credits for the future.
    Your teammate is always your first competitor and even in your first season at least you should try.
    Lando is already laying down before even punched.

    • + 0
    • Jan 23 2019 - 07:22
    • blade

      Posts: 341

      Agree. Look at Lewis Hamilton, his first year was against a proper racer - a certain Fernando Alonso - he fared pretty well didn't he? Lando please- make that the last comment like that for your own sake.

      • + 0
      • Jan 23 2019 - 16:48
    • Mr N71

      Posts: 31

      McL are not famous to take good care of their juniors when they get into to the F1 car. Look at VAN who might be among the best juniors ever. Even if I compare with LEC and VER for example. McL killed VAN career. in GP2 he was better than LEC in superiority. But McL made him look bad, and all because ALO would not like VAN to compete with equal terms.

      • + 0
      • Jan 24 2019 - 23:22
  • I dunno, I think he is trying to set the expectations pretty low, something Vandoorne too tried and failed to do (failed thanks to McLaren's hype). Which is reasonable, he is a rookie after all.

    • + 0
    • Jan 23 2019 - 18:01
    • Kean

      Posts: 662

      In another interview he said he wants to beat Sainz in every quali and race. This reads to me that he's not gonna beat himself up about it, and let it get to him, if he doesn't. I hope he does beat Sainz though, I hope this kid has got that little extra even if he failed to show it in F2. There are 7-8 established drivers on the grid that I rate higher than Sainz, so it would be nice if Norris manages to beat him.

      • + 0
      • Jan 23 2019 - 20:02

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