Norris awed by ‘insane’ scale of McLaren operation

McLaren might have had a lean spell in Formula 1 in recent seasons, but the scale of the operation in Woking is still daunting to a brand new rookie driver such as Lando Norris.

“It’s pretty insane,” Norris told Autosport magazine this week when asked what his first impressions of life at the McLaren Technology Centre had been like. “It’s at the higher end compared to the majority of the teams!”

Norris spent a year as the team’s test and reserve driver in 2018, before being confirmed in a full-time racing role this season alongside Carlos Sainz.

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In his first 12 races as a Grand Prix driver, Norris has picked up 24 championship points including two sixth place finishes in Bahrain and Austria. It’s helped the team consolidate fourth in the constructors championship heading into the mid-season summer break.

But the 19-year-old from Glastonbury says it took time to get his head around the task in front of him, and to grips with the high expectations of the team as a whole.

“Every day I walk in it’s always awesome,” he said. “It does add a bit of pressure at the same time, knowing all of these people there are relying on Carlos and myself to do a good job.

“It puts more pressure on you, but it’s a pressure that’s gone away more and more, in a good way,” he explained. “I did the first race, and I was like: ‘I’ve got a lot of people expecting things!’

“It’s the same now, but I’m more relaxed on that side,” he continued. “And more confident in my own driving, that I can do a better job and I won’t disappoint them.