Lando Norris has hit back at critics who termed his decision to sign a long-term deal with McLaren as premature given the British team’s misfortunes this season. Norris believes that critics who “know absolutely nothing” about his situation are arriving at the wrong conclusions.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the 2022 F1 Austrian GP, he said:
“I don’t know why. Everyone thinks they know; he definitely could have gone here; he could have done that. But most of the time they know absolutely nothing, all these people coming up with these conclusions.”
He added, saying:
“It’s come from people that I have a lot of respect for and of course I respect their opinions. But at the same time, I have a good team around me, so we know where I want to be and when, what the team can offer me going into the future.”
McLaren offered a contract extension to Lando Norris late last season following his impressive performances, which helped the team come close to taking P3 in the constructors’ championship. Along with a hefty bump in salary — which makes Norris one of the highest-paid drivers on the grid — the new contract sees him stay with Team Papaya until at least 2025.
Given the potential for vacant seats at Red Bull and Mercedes in the coming years, however, many criticized Norris’ decision. Critics believe that he missed out on a chance at competing for a front-running team, especially as McLaren seem far from their goal of being able to compete for championships.
Norris, however, has staunchly stood by his decision to stay with McLaren, despite their poor fortunes this season. He said:
“I still believe it’s the best place for me because it’s where I’ve grown up, I know what we have coming.”
Lando Norris optimistic about points finish at the 2022 F1 Austrian GP, despite qualifying difficulties
Lando Norris is optimistic about his chances at the 2022 F1 Austrian GP, with the Briton hoping to score some solid points at his “favourite track”. The Briton had a less-than-ideal qualifying session on Friday when he failed to set a competitive time in Q2 due to brake issues. Speaking ahead of the weekend at Spielberg, he said:
“I’m really excited to be back in Spielberg for the Austrian Grand Prix. It’s a Sprint and it’s one of my favourites on the calendar so it’s shaping up to be a nice weekend.”
He added, saying:
“Whilst we may not necessarily be fighting for podiums like in the last two years, there is definitely an opportunity for some good points and to have some fun battles.”
Norris has always done well around the Red Bull Ring, having scored his first career podium finish around the track in 2020, and a front-row start when F1 last visited the circuit.