Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz shared a garage in the McLaren team in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. During this time, with a very good relationship, they created an exceptional working chemistry within the team and thus significantly contributed to the progress of the team. Friendship and great respect were maintained by the racers even after Sainz left the team from Woking and moved to Maranello. Despite his good attitude, Norris described Sainz's transfer as a good thing for him, as it allowed him to step out of the shadow of a more experienced colleague and shine in full glory last season.
Sainz transferred from Renault to McLaren before the 2019 season, and Norris joined the team as a newcomer after becoming a Formula 2 runner-up in the previous season. him. Even more Norris was even better in qualifying (20-18) in two seasons overall. He was even among the points winners several times in the first season, but Sainz won more points, mainly thanks to the third place in Brazil. As Norris admitted, he was somewhat in the Spanish shadow due to Sainz’s outstanding performances in two joint seasons.
“Sainz is one of the best racers in Formula 1. I think I was in his shadow because of his outstanding performances. Maybe at the time I didn't look as good as I really am. ”
The Englishman pointed out that Sainz was also underestimated at that time, and it was only with his transfer to Ferrari that people began to appreciate both racers more.
Despite joining the new team, the Spaniard did a great job and finished the first season in the red in front of both Norris and his teammate Leclerc.
“More and more people are now seeing what he is capable of. If I had stayed at McLarn, I would be completely together again, maybe I would have been even better last season. ”
Ricciard was not intimidated by the arrival
Sainza was replaced at McLarn by Daniel Ricciardo, who was widely believed to be a hard nut to crack for young Norris. But it was just the opposite. The Australian had a lot of problems getting used to the new car, especially in the first part of the season. Norris admitted that it was his experience with Sainz that helped him resist a more experienced comrade without fear.
“I wasn’t nervous when Daniel came. Many were of the opinion that I would not be able to cope with him, as he was supposed to be much better than me and Carlos. He already had the experience of winning. ”
The Australian scored his first win at Monza since 2012. Norris was second at the time, which is his best Formula One finish. Ferrari also beat McLaren in the second half of the season in the fight for third place in the constructors' standings.