Lando Norris has warned his F1 rivals that there will be no more ‘Mr Nice Guy’ in 2022. The McLaren driver is preparing to add a competitive streak to his repertoire as he seeks to challenge for the World Championship.
The pair are battling it out for the World Championship, with the latter having the opportunity to clinch his first title at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday.
“We’re still at the point with George and myself and Alex [Albon] and Charles [where] there’s a lot of compliments and we get along and we chat,” Norris told the BBC.
“But things always change when you become competitive against each other.
“We’re still in a friendly phase because we never raced each other.
“But if all of sudden we go into next year and in the middle of the championship it’s me and Max and Lewis, I don’t think there will be as much Mr Nice Guy. That’s just the way it works.”
Norris has enjoyed a breakthrough season. He is fifth in the 2021 drivers’ leaderboard heading into Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Bristol-born star enjoys a healthy relationship with new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who switched from Renault at the start of 2021.
Norris said of Ricciardo: “It’s been very good for me because it’s always that question when you go up against a driver like that – are you going to do well?
“Is he going to beat me in every single qualifying [and] race of the season?
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“There were the thoughts going through your head a little bit before the year.
“So when none of that happens, you feel: ‘Okay, if I can do this against him, he could beat this guy when he was in the same car, then I must be in a decent place.’
“It makes you think good things. But on the flip side it doesn’t make me feel like I’m suddenly the best driver in the world, because there have been some races where Daniel has been quicker than me, and he’s still Daniel.
“Once he’s clicked and found his way [at McLaren], I hope to still be quicker than him, but I know it’s not gonna be like I’m always quicker than him because he’s a very, very, very good driver.”