Sat, Feb 15, 2020 - Page 16 News List

Monaco glitz beyond grasp of McLaren’s Norris

AFP, LONDON

McLaren drivers Lando Norris, left, and Carlos Sainz sit on either side of the team’s new Formula One car unveiled at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, on Thursday.

Photo: AP

McLaren driver Lando Norris has revealed that he is not paid enough to live the glamour life enjoyed by many of his Formula One (F1) rivals in Monaco.

Norris is about to embark on his second year in F1 after a successful rookie campaign.

The 20-year-old was given a new McLaren deal last year, but his reported £400,000 (US$521,000) annual salary is dwarfed by the multi-millionaire incomes enjoyed by star drivers like Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

As such, Norris is not yet ready to join the motor racing tradition of moving to the principality.

“I am firmly staying in the UK,” Norris said at his team’s season launch on Thursday. “Compared to a lot of the other drivers, I am not earning the amounts that would make it more beneficial to live in Monaco than the enjoyment loss of going into London with my friends. Hopefully that is something I can look forward to in the future.”

Instead of hunting for a plush abode in Monaco during the sport’s off-season, Norris left his old apartment to move into a new accommodation within striking range of McLaren’s Woking headquarters.

“I timed it the other day and it took me three minutes and 20 seconds to get home from the factory, and that is driving within the speed limit,” he added. “I like everything how it is now. I like going out with my group of friends and I still have a lot of fun.”

Norris helped to take the wraps off the new car that McLaren hopes will enable them to take another step forward on their journey back to the front of the grid.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown believes that the British team have “turned the corner” and can look forward to this season with fresh optimism.

After years of disappointment, McLaren finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last season — their best finish since 2012.

“These are very exciting times. We have turned the corner. We have a long way to go, but I am excited for the first race,” Brown said. “Our two drivers have brought a lot of energy to the team, so credit to them — and McLaren is a fun place to be.”

Joining Norris, Carlos Sainz Jr celebrated McLaren’s first podium in five years at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“We have hopefully put together a better package, a better car, and I have the feeling everything is coming together,” Sainz said. “We have a positive momentum from last season and we are hoping to carry that on this year.”

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