Lando Norris‘ aggressive side was first seen in Portugal, when, after the race, he diminished Lewis Hamilton’s achievements to him having a better car than the rest of the grid. He has since apologized publicly for his comments.
McLaren’s Lando Norris says it was “tricky” to deal with the backlash he received after his dismissive comments on Lewis Hamilton’s achievements last year.
After Lewis Hamilton broke the record for most race wins in history at the Portuguese Grand Prix, Lando Norris gave some seemingly dismissive comments about Lewis’ achievement.
When asked, Norris told journalists that Lewis was driving “in a car which should win every race” and that he “has to beat one or two other drivers, that’s it”. The young Briton got heavily criticized for his words and now he reflects on the situation.
“It was tricky,” Norris told Autosport.
“There’s no-one I probably respect more in the paddock than Lewis and what he’s done. 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.
“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.”
Norris was asked if he thought a senior driver, such as Kimi Raikkonen, would been better received by the public if he had made similar comments.
“Yes, I think if Kimi had said it, people would have loved it. There’s nothing you can do about that, that’s just how people portray you.
“I guess I’ve come in and I have been the jokey guy and perhaps not as serious as I should have been, and I feel like I’ve done a better job with that.
“But I guess people have just never seen the bad side of me, or the angry side of me, and then when I have shown that, people just think I’m acting out in a bad way and I’m disrespecting everyone, which I’m not.
“You have other drivers who say these kind of things a lot of the time, and just because they’ve always said it, people just find that normal and then that’s just the way it is.
“A bit of the reason is I’ve generally been seen as a bit of a nice guy and so on, and then I say something a bit more aggressive or offensive in some ways, and people just see that as a contrasted side of myself.
“That’s just the way it is. It’s not something I can just change, it’s just people’s perceptions of different people.”
Since making those comments last year, Norris has apologized to Lewis.
LAST OCTOBER, NORRIS SAID THAT HAMILTON WAS “JUST DOING THE JOB” LAST OCTOBER, NORRIS SAID THAT HAMILTON WAS “JUST DOING THE JOB”