McLaren driver Lando Norris has spoken about how gaming, and not racing, was his first love growing up.
Norris enjoyed a fine run in his karting career and soon found himself with a seat in Formula 1, all at the tender age of 19. He made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2019 and managed to register his first points on the grid within a fortnight.
Norris will be keen to show that his efforts last season were not just a fluke. He did, after all, play a significant role in getting McLaren to third position in the constructors’ standings last season.
Norris remains a keen gamer and streams his exploits on Twitch. He spoke about how significant gaming has been and continues to be for him.
While streaming just in the last week alone we managed to raise just over £10K towards @BillyMonger and his incredible efforts towards Comic Relief and on top of that another £25K given to various charities with thanks to @TwitchRivals and @Activision. Made me smile, thank you.— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) March 9, 2021
“Games definitely came first,” Norris said.
“When I was four or five years old, my dad used to play Gran Turismo. He never really got to do any racing himself – he was a cyclist – but he loved racing.”
The young British driver spoke about how he was instantly drawn to gaming and the competitive element that it brings.
“Growing up, watching him, I eventually got to the point where I wanted to beat him, so then I became very competitive and got into racing,” he said.
“We had a little steering wheel with pedals and I would sit on my dad’s lap and have a go.
“A lot of people think I just race cars that go round in a circle and that’s about it.”
Norris said that the Netflix series Drive to Survive is crucial to show people the human side of personalities that they have come to love through the grid.
“But I think until you really see it – and you’ve maybe watched Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix – you see more behind the scenes and what a driver and a team has to go through to accomplish things.
“Formula 1 is quite tight-knit, not many people get to see the driver’s side of it. I think that’s why I also stream a lot, because people get to just see me.
“I’m just a normal guy who streams and plays games every day. I’m not this magical kind of guy.”
Norris will be keen to prove his mettle once again in the season-opener set to take place in Bahrain later this week.