Norris ‘punches wall’ after smiley interview amid McLaren frustration
Lando Norris says champagne celebration can 'go wrong'
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Lando Norris reportedly punched a wall after the conclusion of a three-day pre-season test in Bahrain, with McLaren lagging behind many of their competitors. The 23-year-old appeared to be in good spirits earlier in the week but signs of frustration may be setting in with the first Grand Prix of the season closing in.
Norris is hailed as one of the most promising drivers in F1 and he blitzed former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in last year’s points standings. The Brit racked up more than three times as many points as the experienced Aussie and banked an impressive podium in 2022, although he is yet to clinch his first Grand Prix victory.
Many feel as though the youngster deserves to be in a more competitive car, with McLaren yet to win a race since their famous one-two in Monza almost two years ago. After the second day of testing in Bahrain, Norris appeared cheery when asked whether he was ready to fight back to the top with his team.
“I’m still here for a few more years and it’s because I want to be,” he told Sky Sports. “It wasn’t because I knew we were going to be winning championships or anything. I knew that it’s a journey and we have to develop and improve on what we have to get to that point.
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“Of course we weighed up every possibility, and there’s always the possibility that it takes longer than my contract. I don’t think that’s a talking point for me at the minute. I’m not the most patient guy but at the same time I’m very happy with the work, plans and development that the team are doing. It does take time, I understand that and I’m on the journey with the team.”
Fast forward to after the final day of testing and F1 journalist Will Buxton claims to have witnessed Norris punching a wall in frustration. The move was described as ‘very unlike Lando’ and a tell-tale sign that something is ‘not quite right’.
Norris’ anger is understandable after a gloomy three days of testing in Bahrain for McLaren. They logged the fewest laps and the fewest kilometers of any team on the grid, while Norris registered fewer laps than any other individual driver aside from Aston Martin’s stand-in youngster Felipe Drugovich.
McLaren lost time on day one due to a wheel faring issue, while Norris was the second-slowest driver on the grid during day two. He once again finished outside the top 10 on the third and final day of testing, with rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri down in 16th.
Norris committed his long-term future to McLaren just last year, signing a bumper contract until 2025. The deal is thought to be worth £80million but it could also keep the star out of a title-chasing car for another three seasons.
The decision was a particularly big one given that Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull are all thought to have evaluated the prospect of signing Norris, and fighting for victories would seemingly have been easier at one of the high-flying trio.
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