As the 2022 F1 season begins, the drivers are reflecting on the 2021 and the dramatic effect it’s already had on the year so far. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw rule changes, a change in race director, and has caused such a buzz on social media that the FIA actively launched an investigation into the drama.
Now, Lando Norris has had time to reflect on the sheer will to win that makes the front of the grid so intense and pushes drivers to be more aggressive, or rather, more competitive. Norris himself has now admitted that he’s not sure how he’d cope with a teammate such as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, describing it as a “different battle”.
“It’s a different battle because of how Max races,” Norris told BBC Sport. “It’s a different breed of drivers. You saw how he drove and changed when it came down to those final races, with aggression.
“It’s maybe something you don’t experience so much in the midfield because you’re not going for a World Championship, or some of the drivers don’t have that mentality of risking everything.”
Norris is now finding himself further up the grid after an incredibly successful 2021. So are we going to see a different side to the 22 year old British driver?
“You would try and play smart as much as you can. There are things you would definitely try and outsmart your team-mate on. But I’m also a fair racer and, I don’t know, maybe don’t push the limits quite as much in certain areas.”
After last year’s controversy surrounding Hamilton and Verstappen, Norris has admitted that the action from 2021 race director Michael Masi has been the talk of the pits.
“There’s a big push towards having clarity.
“Everyone’s talking about it. Between us as drivers we want clarity and consistency, and the FIA want the same. So there is quite a big push on that.”