Lando Norris has revealed that he found it difficult to deal with the criticism he received after making comments about Lewis Hamilton, after he won his record-breaking grand prix in Portugal last season. After the race, Norris said that Hamilton has been “in a car which should win every race”, adding that he “has to beat one or two other drivers, that’s it”.
Norris apologised in the days following the race, also saying that he had not wanted to deliberately offend the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport driver, who he also contacted privately on social media.
He made the comments after he had had a challenging race in Portugal, contact with Racing Point Formula One Team‘s Lance Stroll causing him to miss out on a points finish.
The 21-year-old said he found the fallout difficult to deal with as Hamilton is one of the drivers he respects most in the paddock.
“It was tricky. There’s no one I probably respect more in the paddock than Lewis and what he’s done,” said Norris, speaking to Motorsport.com.
“I’ve got one podium, so it’s not like I can talk and say he’s not doing a good job, because I know how hard it is to get a podium in the first place.
“I feel like I’m a nice guy and I try to be a nice guy all of the time. But I also try to speak a bit of the truth sometimes, and say what is true, and sometimes people don’t like that.
“My comments, and my comments always within Formula 1, will never be to take anything away from a driver or disrespect what they’ve been able to achieve.
“Maybe I say some bad things sometimes, and it gets portrayed in the wrong way, or maybe I just say something I shouldn’t because I didn’t think properly.”
He added that he is human and everyone makes mistakes, and things can be said in the spur of the moment due to the high pressure environment the drivers find themselves in.
“But it’s just because I’m a human and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. At the end of the day, I never mean something bad against anyone. It’s always an emotion and an outburst which every driver does.
“I’ve made mistakes now, and I’m sure I’m going to make them in the future,” he concluded.