Lando Norris: "Carlos Sainz beat me because he did a great job"
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McLaren driver Lando Norris says Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz beat him in the driver’s championship because he did a great job. Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were two seasons of teammates at McLaren in 2019 and 2020.
The Spaniard and the Briton made up the driving lineup of the Woking team after the departure of Alonso and Vandoorne from this team. The young Briton was a newcomer to the grid in 2019, and the Spaniard came from Renault.
Already with the experience gained, Carlos finished that season ahead of Land. Sainz did an even better job in 2020 as he finished in 6th place and Lando in 9th place - which allowed McLaren to return to the top 3 teams. Sainz's qualities did not go unnoticed by Ferrari, which brought him last year.
Carlos continued to make further progress, and in his first season for the Italian team he managed to beat his current (Leclerc) and former (Norris) team-mate in the drivers ’championship. On the other hand, Norris last year marked the end of the third season as a Formula 1 driver.
The Briton believes he has progressed thanks to the experience and constant effort. “I always hate to justify myself: I lack experience. To say: I just don't have that much experience is a very simple excuse. I hate what I have to say sometimes, ”says Norris.
After completing his first season on the grid of the premier class in 2019, Norris believes he showed great performance in 2020, but adds that Sainz is one of the best Formula 1 drivers. "My year has been good, but I think Carlos is one of the best drivers in Formula 1.
He is an extremely good driver and he has done a very good job," he added. “He overshadowed me a bit because I was doing an outstanding job, and now that I’ve made the next step, I’d be the same or maybe a little better than him,” he explained.
Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz
The McLaren driver believes that his third year in Formula 1 was the most constant season so far, which is the result of the experience gained. "It was a combination of understanding everything that has happened in the last few years, a new beginning, a second teammate… and a slightly better car that I'm more confident about," he says.
“I am very pleased with the progress I have made since last season, working in weak areas. I think I have turned some of them into advantages, some still need to be improved, but overall we did a much better job. " Norris won two podiums in the 2021 season, and came close to winning the Russian Grand Prix, although he also made a number of mistakes, especially in the second half of the season.
"In the (first) part, I was extremely strong, I think we came out extremely strong from the beginning of the season, and we made the most of it. We took every opportunity we had to get on the podium. " “I definitely made some mistakes, like Brazil.
Something like that cost us a lot of points and a possible race against Ferrari, and the opportunity to be ahead of them, ”concluded Norris.