McLaren driver Lando Norris may be struggling on the track this season, but he won hearts off it during a press interaction ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old is languishing in 11th position in the drivers’ standings and even got robbed for the second time in the last few years while on holiday ahead of the race weekend, but still seemed in a decent enough mood to elicit some laughter from the media.
The British driver stood up for a female reporter after she was subject to a condescending comment from one of her male counterparts.
The incident took place when Mari Becker, a reporter who hails from Brazil, asked Norris if the new upgrades that McLaren is set to introduce could be a game-changer for the team.
Norris said that Becker always tends to ask good questions, but this praise was a little too much for one of her male colleagues, who interjected saying, “You are one hell of a liar.”
Norris was caught completely off guard, but replied with such poise that the entire room was left in splits.
Typically seen as a shy youngster, Norris broke out of this mould and landed the ultimate knockout blow to the reporter.
“And who are you?” Norris said after the cheeky comment made by the reporter.
While this did cool down the atmosphere within the room, McLaren’s struggles on the track may not be relieved all that easily.
Although the team is expecting upgrades to aid them in making the most of the second half of the season, they are currently P6 in the constructors’ standings with just 17 points in eight races.
The Woking-based outfit has reportedly arrives at the Red Bull Ring in Austria with a reshaped sidepod and the new design is seen as a ‘milestone’ by both team principal Andrea Stella and Norris.
However, with just one practice session set to take place in Austria, assessing the true potential of these modifications will be tough.
This is perhaps the reason why Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso asked his team to delay its upgrades ahead of this weekend.
It will be interesting to see just how much these upgrades will help McLaren when the true potential is unleashed.