Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Norris expands on back issues aggravated by current F1 cars

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris has opened up on his back issues that have left him in "constant pain" last season and are still a work in progress.

Lando Norris, McLaren, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Last year, F1 switched to ground-effect-based cars which are set up extremely stiff to generate the most downforce. That set-up had the unintended side-effect of porpoising on most cars, with drivers bouncing violently on the straights.

But even without the highly publicised bouncing effect, the low-ride heights have generally made the cars much less comfortable to drive, with more forces transferred to the drivers' backs.

Norris has revealed that last year's McLaren left him in "constant pain", having to do much more work with the team and with his trainer to alleviate his back problems for this year.

"I have to stretch morning and evening, before every session. If I don't then I always struggle a lot more with my back," Norris said.

"It's not just racing. It's just something that I've had to work on in general anyway. But it's definitely not helped by some of the changes on the car over the last couple of years.

"It got to a pretty bad point last year, every day I was struggling with sleep and everything... just in constant pain.

"I think a lot of things have already been put in place like I made a couple of new seats already. It was worse last year than it is this year."

Norris says his recurring issues have also limited how he trains. Even common activities like track walks have been cut down, while he has also had to limit his golf outings.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Erik Junius

"If I want it to get better, I've got to do other things, rather than just trying to make the seat better and allow the car to somehow get better over time. It's not going to be the case.

"I'm limiting a lot more things. I'm playing a lot less golf just because of my back, doing more physio. Some things I have to crank up and some things I have to pay the price for, like playing golf or certain sports.

"Even track walks, as soon as I do a track walk, I struggle a lot, so I've had to cut down on track walks, little things that have helped me quite a bit just to struggle less.

"I'm in a much better position now. I mean, I would love to play more golf as well! And even with cycling and running my back hurts, so I still can't do everything I would want to do."

Team boss Andrea Stella says the squad is continuing to monitor the issue, which he called a "work in progress", but conceded there's only so much the team can do to help with the seating position.

"We are following this matter very closely with Lando," Stella added. "Some will have to come from his own understanding of what his body requires in terms of conditioning and in terms of how he needs to sit in the car to be comfortable and avoid this kind of issues.

"From our side, there's quite a lot of variables that we can play with, but we need to know exactly where we have to put our focus, so it's really work in progress. There's no revolution in the plan in terms of the seating position, how upright it will be.

"We are hoping in a way that this will gradually fix itself, thanks to the work that Lando is doing and his adaptation even in terms of lifestyle, which I know must be very, very painful for such a passionate golf player!"

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Hulkenberg: Williams "gone" for P7 unless Haas F1 finds some "magic"
Next article Marketing aspects main hold up in Hamilton deal, say Mercedes

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe