Norris no longer “a passenger” in Monaco amid tonsillitis recovery

McLaren driver Lando Norris says he no longer feels like “a passenger” in his Formula 1 car, overcoming his ongoing tonsillitis to qualify a superb fifth in Monaco.

Norris no longer “a passenger” in Monaco amid tonsillitis recovery

Norris said that if he had been feeling 100% fit and had not made mistakes on his lap, he might have qualified even higher.

Speaking at length for the first time about his recent illness, Norris made it clear just how tough the Spanish GP weekend was for him as he battled to an eighth-place finish.

"It's been a long week, just because of suffering the amount I did last week with the tonsillitis and fever and everything,” Norris said when asked by Autosport about his health situation.

“And then racing with it just made it even worse than it ever needed to be. But it was something that had to be done, and I was so happy with with doing it.

“It just took a big toll on me physically, so I was struggling a lot Sunday night.

“I did everything I could possibly do, literally talking to no one, and whatever. I'm recovering.

“Throat-wise, I'm in a much better place, I can eat and drink now, which is already a good start - something I couldn't do last week.

"I didn't sleep at all last last week, so just catching up on that, it's not something which you can just catch up on in a couple of days. It takes time.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Norris stressed that while he’s felt better in Monaco this weekend, he’s still not fully recovered.

“I know I'm not 100% now,” he said. “You can probably tell by how red my face is, there's a few things I'm still struggling with.

“But it's much better, I'm more confident that when I get in the car, I'm on top of things, rather than being almost a passenger.

"But this is tough, because I know especially here in Monaco, you need to be on top of everything. And it's where you want to be physically 100%.

“I know I'm quite a way off that still, even though I feel like I can do a good job.”

Elaborating on how much performance he might be missing, he said: “When I say I'm way off, I mean it can be a tenth, a tenth and a half.

“But if I talk today about a tenth and a half, and a couple of little mistakes that I made, then there's a chance that I could have been higher, kind of thing.

“So I think there's good confidence from within that if things are perfect things could have been even better today. But nevertheless, I'm just very happy with where I am, P5 is still a good result for us.

"Still a step to the guys ahead to just be consistently there, because we've been always two-three tenths off all weekend.

“P5 I'm happy with, my laps I was happy with, just some small mistakes here and there, which just let me down.

“But I want to put that more down to just my awareness and a couple of things that I'm still struggling with.”

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Erik Junius

Asked if he’s considered stopping at points in Barcelona, Norris made the intriguing revelation that he doesn’t usually have a drinks bottle in his car, but did last weekend.

"There were there were certainly points, quite a few points,” he said. “I think one thing which really saved everything was it was the first time I used a drinks bottle in the car.

"I tried using one when it first came into F1 and I hated it, I'm not a fan of it at all. So I've never used one since, I don't even run with the bottle in the car.

“For the first time, we thought it'd be a good idea to try, and it really saved me, I think. By the end of the warm up lap before the start I had to have a few sips, because I was struggling already.

“But I just had to keep sipping, like every lap, which is not a nice thing, because it gets warm so quickly.

“I think without that I probably wouldn't have made it past three laps, two laps, honestly. So that was like my rate of decline in terms of physically and mentally how much I was struggling.

“But just a few sips a lap managed to really save me quite a bit.”

Norris says he was determined not to pull out of the Barcelona race.

“Of course it crossed my mind many times,” he added.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“It was something that had to be taken into consideration with how much I was struggling,

“But we were doing everything we could to make sure that I was in the best place possible, and I had to give it a try.

“I would have hated to have gone out, or finished the race weekend and not have tried at least to do a few laps.

“That's just not the mentality I would love to stick around with. It was crossed my mind many times, and decisions were made.

“But I think in the end of the day it was always the correct one, so I was happy.”

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly: Mistakes are costing AlphaTauri ‘massively’ at the moment
Previous article

Gasly: Mistakes are costing AlphaTauri ‘massively’ at the moment

Next article

F1 Monaco Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

F1 Monaco Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023