A lot has changed since the party days of Formula 1, where the likes of James Hunt would be seen drinking within hours of a race. The drivers of today have a more disciplined approach as Lando Norris showed last weekend.
With just a few days until his début F1 race weekend he is taking no chances when it comes to his preparation. The F1 rookie swapped four wheels for two as he took to the circuit in Albert Park, Melbourne on a bicycle.
Motorcycle racing was initially what interested Norris in motorsport, but soon switched his interest to four wheels following a visit to his local kart track to see the Super 1 National Kart Championships.
Norris has since come up through the ranks, coming third on his motorsport début in the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship followed by winning the MSA Formula Championship the following year with 8 wins.
Moving into European Formula 3 and then finishing second in FIA Formula 2 in 2018 before he was picked up by McLaren for the 2019 season as they try to find a way back to the glory days.
Norris claims not to be influenced by the glamour of F1 and says he’s not going to be tempted into a hedonistic lifestyle as for now it seems he is keeping his head down and focussing on his début race.
“I do things I love doing. Sometimes that is maybe going out to have a drink with friends, going out partying or whatever.” Norris said at the launch of this year’s MCL35 McLaren.
“But I enjoy sim racing more than going out to do that, so you probably won’t see me in London getting hammered too much.”
This discipline is in contrast to that of F1 veteran Kimi Raikkonen who’s revealed this week that he believes the party days in his youth actually made him a better driver. Speaking to F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast about his 2013 season he said;
“That whole summer was more or less racing and partying. It’s nothing new – for me it’s normal. Outside it might look a bit weird, but for me, in the past, it was a very normal story.
“I always thought that [it makes you] more relaxed and you need to put more effort and concentration in [on track] because you’re a bit unsure. And then the end result comes better.”