"Everything I say has a lot of weight"- Lando Norris 'ready' to take up leadership role at McLaren in 2023 F1 season

F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Previews
Lando Norris talks to the media in the paddock during previews ahead of the 2022 F1 Grand Prix of Italy

Lando Norris believes he is already in the position of team leader at McLaren, despite having a more experienced and accomplished Daniel Ricciardo as his teammate.

The Briton has consistently outperformed his teammate in the last two seasons and has proven himself to be championship material. He remains confident of playing the team leader next season onwards when 2020 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri will make his F1 debut at McLaren.

In an interview with RacingNews365, Lando Norris was asked about the prospect of leading McLaren in 2023 with Piastri as his teammate. He said:

“I feel like I’m already in that position now. I wouldn’t say anyone in the team now [would say that] Daniel leads me and helps me do those sorts of things. I already feel like everything I say has a lot of weight, [which] they take seriously and listen to, especially being in the position of extracting bit more potential out of the car over the last few years.”
“That’s always something that’s going to help so. I’m ready. I’ve been with the team for five years or six years now [and 2022 is] my fourth year of racing with them. I feel like I know them and we know each other well enough that we can extract everything out of each other that we can.”

Lando Norris has made it perfectly clear that he is not playing a supporting role in the team or that Daniel Ricciardo leads him in any way. The Australian announced earlier that he will be parting ways with McLaren at the end of the season, although no confirmation has been made regarding his future in the sport.

Familiarity with car design brings him no advantage over teammate, says Lando Norris

Lando Norris made his F1 debut with McLaren back in 2019 and has grown with the team ever since. Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, moved from Red Bull to Renault and then to McLaren in the span of a couple of years, which could potentially be the reason why Norris has an advantage over his teammate. The 22-year-old, however, insists that both drivers have exactly the same car and that no one enjoys an advantage over the other on that front.

Speaking to RacingNews365, Norris said:

“I already work very closely with [technical director] James [Key], butI feel there’s only so much you can do. [There’s a lot of] things I see saying that the car is based around me and designed around me and whatever. But it couldn’t be more the opposite. It can’t be [further] from the truth. The car is just the car that they build, and I just drive the car that they built. And it’s exactly the same for both me and Daniel.”
“The only thing that’s more personal to me is really the colour of my buttons on my steering wheel, which I would say brings no advantage from one driver to the other. So there’s only so much you can actually do in terms of helping in design, and it’s not my job. I’m not knowledgeable enough in that area to advise on things. I just give my opinion when I feel like it’s needed. And that’s it. I wouldn’t say I go any further than that.”

Lando Norris currently stands seventh in the drivers' standings with 88 points to his name.

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