Norris: Fans Would’ve Never Criticized Raikkonen for Calling Out Lewis Hamilton Over F1 Success

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Ever since Lando Norris arrived on the F1 scene, he was perceived to be a fun-loving character. This perception only went on to develop over time; Norris was quickly seen to be the new generation of F1 drivers who were chilled out, happy-go-lucky, and engaged in a lot of banter off the track. This made Norris extremely likable and got him a die-hard set of fans.

However, the young Briton is only human and he can’t be restricted to just one set of emotions. 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.

Reflecting on that incident, he said (translated via Google), “It was tricky. There is probably no one I respect in the paddock more than Lewis and what he has achieved. 

BAHRAIN – Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme in Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“I got on the podium once, so it’s not that I can say he’s not doing a good job because I know how hard it is to get a podium at all.”

Lando Norris believes that being pigeon-holed as a nice guy means he can’t always express himself honestly

The McLaren driver explained, “I have the feeling that I am a nice guy and I try to be a nice guy all the time. But I also try to tell the truth a little sometimes and say what is true, and sometimes people don’t like that.

“But that’s just because I’m human and everyone makes mistakes sometimes. At the end of the day, I never mean anything bad to anyone.”

Norris believes that the reaction to his statements could have been vastly different if it was Kimi Raikkonen who’d have delivered them. The Finn is known to speak his mind and for being a cold personality.

SOCHI, RUSSIA – Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo talks in the Drivers Press Conference. F1 Grand Prix of Russia. Sochi Autodrom, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Norris said, “I think if Kimi had said it, people would have loved it. There’s nothing you can do about it, that’s just the way people portray you. I guess I came here and was the fun guy and maybe not as serious as I should have been.”

However, F1 fans wouldn’t want Norris to change. The McLaren driver brings something different to the table and is a key personality if the sport wants to market itself to the younger generation.

Looking ahead to the 2021 season, Norris has alluded to the fact that both he and Ricciardo would have to pool in their expertise in order for McLaren to succeed. But from an individual standpoint, the Briton would want to beat his teammate on the track and announce himself as a future world championship contender.

Also Read: McLaren Reveal Launch Date for 2021 F1 Car

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