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Norris: McLaren’s F1 team boss approach important in my development

McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris believes his CEO Zak Brown and team boss Andreas Seidl have played a "hugely important' role in his development over the past two and a half years.

Lando Norris, McLaren, and Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, on the grid

Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Norris joined the Woking squad ahead of the 2019 F1 season and has since grown into one of the sport's most reliable performers, taking four podiums over the past 18 months while currently holding third in the 2021 driver standings ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.

The 21-year-old has particularly impressed this season with his consistency, which is crucial for McLaren in its battle with Ferrari for third in the constructors' championship, Norris finishing in the top five in nine of the first 12 races.

Norris says his bosses Brown and Seidl have played an important role in his development, saying they strike a balance between being supportive and giving the young Briton a proverbial kick up the backside when needed.

"I think it's been hugely important," he replied when asked by Autosport about the support he gets from Brown and Seidl.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"Having them support you in tough times and criticise you when you need to be criticised.

"It's not all about trying to make you feel good but telling you the truth and tell you: 'You've just got to be better in this area, and you've got to be better in this area'.

"But they just want to help you as well, it's not like all you have to do is impress them. They also want to help you do a better job and maximise yourself.

"And it's definitely helped me progress quicker, become a better driver. I still feel pressure from them, so it's not like it's easy and we're best mates or whatever and I can get away with everything."

He added: "They're still my bosses and I don't want to make mistakes; I don't want to make them look bad. And I've still got a job at the end of the day where I have to perform and go out and do a very good job.

"It's also in those tougher times or the times you struggle, or the times you need that kick up the arse to go and do a better job in whatever area, that they give you that. And I think it's a very good combination of these types of things that they're able to help on."

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Norris is known as a particularly analytical and self-critical driver, which Seidl has previously identified as one of the reasons behind Norris' progress.

"Obviously, all drivers are different and some people don't feel like they want support, they feel like they can do it alone," Norris explained.

"And then you get some drivers who need lots of support, and they need all the confidence from every person around them possible.

"I would say I'm kind of in the middle, I love doing a lot of things alone. And being a very kind of negative guy, I'm trying to work on myself a lot.

"I feel like I can do a lot by complimenting myself and being negative about myself, and I can learn a lot from just doing that."

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