Lando Norris says he is excited to return to Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, particularly as it will be in McLaren F1 Team’s special Gulf livery.
The Monaco Grand Prix was absent from the Formula 1 calendar in 2020 as it fell foul to the coronavirus pandemic, but Norris is delighted to be back racing there in 2021.
“I’m very excited to go racing in Monaco again, it’s an awesome track with a lot of history, and one of the most challenging circuits in Formula 1,” said Norris. “It’s also really cool to be racing there in Gulf colours and to be writing history with the team.
“The blue and the orange work really well together on a race car and I think the fans are going to love seeing it racing around the streets of Monaco. I’ll also be running a special race helmet for the weekend, inspired by Gulf’s iconic colours, so keep your eyes peeled for that too.”
Norris says the start to the 2021 season has been strong for McLaren, but everyone is working extra hard to extract as much performance they can from the MCL35M, and the hard work will continue heading into Monaco.
The Briton took a podium finish in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and has scored points in all four races to date, and currently sits an impressive fourth in the Drivers’ Championship heading to Monaco.
“It’s been a strong start to the season for me personally, but also for the team,” said Norris. “We’re up against strong competition in both the Drivers and Constructors’ Championships, so we’re working hard to extract every bit of performance we can.
“We know that Monaco is going to be a tricky weekend, with so much riding on qualifying, but we’ll be working hard to start the weekend well on Thursday and score some decent points come Sunday.”
“Monaco is my favourite circuit on the calendar” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo says racing in Gulf colours raises the excitement levels of racing in Monaco even higher, and like Norris will be running a custom helmet for the event.
Ricciardo is a previous winner at Monaco back when he was racing for Red Bull Racing, and he says the circuit in the principality is his favourite on the whole calendar.
“I was already excited about going racing again in Monaco, but to be racing in Gulf colours for the weekend just raises the level of excitement even further,” said Ricciardo. “I’ve even got a custom retro helmet to match the entire theme of the team this weekend.
“Monaco is my favourite circuit on the calendar, and I really missed driving there last year. It’s such a unique place to drive and as F1 drivers we’re incredibly lucky to get the opportunity to race there. It’s not like any other circuit in the world where you can turn up for a track day and drive, you have the Monaco Grand Prix and support events and that’s it.
“So, I’m incredibly excited to be going back, we’ve been deprived of that place for nearly two years.”
Ricciardo says he has begun to get to grip with the MCL35M and it was obvious to be seen last time out in Spain. He knows the team have their work cut out to be competitive this time out in Monaco.
“We’ve been making a lot of progress over the last few races, and I think that really showed in Spain,” said the Australian. “I’m really starting to get to grips with the car and build my confidence.
“We know we’ll have our work cut out for us in Monaco, given how important qualifying is and how close we are to the competition, but we’ll give it our all and try to bring home some solid points for the team.”