Driver Profile: Lando Norris

NameLando Norris
Date of Birth13 November 1999
Place of BirthBristol, England, United Kingdom
Car Number4
First Entry2019 Australian Grand Prix
McLaren’s Lando Norris arrives before testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Biography of F1 driver Lando Norris

Although Norris initially developed an interest in motorcycle racing, with Valentino Rossi an inspiration, the youngster switched to four wheels when his father took him to a round of the Super 1 National Kart Championship.

From there Norris began his career at age seven, and in 2013, he won the CIK FIA European Championship and International Super Cup, as well as the WSK Euro Series.

Norris made the step up to car racing in 2014, competing in the Ginetta Junior Championship, a support series for the British Touring Car Championship. After winning four races and finishing third in the championship, he signed with Carlin Motorsport in 2015 to compete in the MSA Formula Championship, now known as the F4 British Championship.

Thanks to eight wins, 10 poles and 14 podium finishes, Norris beat the likes of Ricky Collard and Colton Herta to top spot. After appearances in the ADAC and Italian Formula 4 championships, the Brit competed in the Toyota Racing Series for M2 Competition in January 2016.

Despite stiff competition from Joel Eriksson, Maximilian Gunther and Callum Ilott, Norris clinched the championship with two races remaining, while ending the year with nine wins and 20 podiums from 30 races.

Move up to Formula 2

After appearing in two Formula 2 races for Campos Racing, Norris secured a full-time seat for the 2018 season alongside Sergio Sette Camara at Carlin. His only win of the season came at the season opening race at the Bahrain International Circuit, though he still managed to finish the year as runner-up to champion George Russell.

That year also saw Norris serve as the official test and reserve driver for McLaren, having joined the team as a junior driver in February 2017. He made his first appearance in an official practice session at the Belgian Grand Prix, before making appearances at six more sessions.

McLaren bring Norris onto the F1 grid

Norris was given a seat at McLaren for the 2019 F1 season alongside Carlos Sainz, with the Brit qualifying eighth for his debut race in Australia. Although no points came on raceday, Norris did claim his first points at the following race in Bahrain thanks to a sixth-place finish.

Norris matched that result in Austria, and was on pace to do one better in Japan, however he collided with Alex Albon during an overtake, which resulted in floor damage and an eventual 11th place finish.

He ended the year 11th in the standings with 49 points, someways back of Sainz’s 96, though he did out-qualify his teammate at 11 of the 20 races.

The 2020 season began with Norris qualifying fourth for the Austrian Grand Prix and later being elevated to third, the highest grid position of his career and highest for McLaren since 2016.

Norris set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to finish under five second behind Lewis Hamilton, who was issued a five-second penalty for colliding with Alex Albon, allowing Norris to claim his first podium.

Although Norris would fail to finish on the podium again that season, he did register six consecutive points finishes between the British and Tuscan Grands Prix. A fifth at the season-ending Abu Dhabi helped McLaren claim third in the Constructors’ Standings, with Norris finishing eight points back of Sainz on 97 points.

Another stellar season and McLaren extension

Now partnered by Daniel Ricciardo following Sainz’s move to Ferrari, Norris began the 2021 F1 season with 10 consecutive points finishes.

Highlights included running as high as second at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with Norris settling for third after being passed by Hamilton with three laps remaining. A second podium of the year followed in Monaco, while Norris capped off a trio of thirds in Austria after starting second with a time that was just 0.048s slower than pole-sitter Max Verstappen.

Norris finished a career-best second at the Italian Grand Prix behind teammate Ricciardo, on a weekend that also saw him finish fourth in the sprint qualifying. It was McLaren’s first one-two finish since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.

McLaren and Norris’ good form continued in Russia when the Brit claimed his first F1 pole position. Although he lost the lead early on to Sainz, he regained it on the 13th lap and looked on course to score his first victory.

However, rain fell in the closing laps, and while Norris opted to stay out on slicks, Hamilton pitted for intermediates. The latter decision proved to be the right one as conditions worsened, which forced Norris to pit and finish seventh.

Norris ended the year sixth with 160 points, 35 more than Ricciardo, which resulted in McLaren rewarding him with a new contract that will see him remain with the team until at least 2025.