Stella: Norris will learn to not be so hard on himself
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 11th October, 2023 - 8:00pm
McLaren team boss Andrea Stella has suggested Lando Norris will learn not to beat himself up when he makes a mistake.
Norris was highly critical of his own performances in Qatar, reasoning driving mistakes cost him a shot at pole for both the F1 Sprint and the grand prix proper.
In the Shootout, a mistake at the final corner on his last flying lap scuppered any shot he had at beating team-mate Oscar Piastri to pole.
That followed a Friday where two track limits breaches saw both his Qualifying 3 laps scratched, leaving him 10th in the grid.
It left the 23-year-old disappointed with his own performance and critical of himself when speaking with the media.
“If I want to be honest with myself, I should have fought for two pole positions this weekend, and potentially two victories,” Norris said in Qatar.
“I know it’s a big thing to say but I think if things went well, if I just did a better job and didn’t make the mistakes I did over the last two days… Which is why I’ve been so frustrated because I knew what was on the cards where we were able to potentially achieve and that was victories.
“So I feel like it was a weekend of missed opportunities for myself to take the fight to Max and at least give yourself an opportunity.
“I feel like I missed out and didn’t do what I should have done and achieved what I should have achieved but I’m definitely so happy with a P3.
“I can’t take anything away from that but in the back of my head, I know I should have done more this weekend.”
Stella, who has worked with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso and has first-hand experience of the traits some of the most successful drivers in the sport display, suggested Norris’ critique is to his credit but perhaps too hard on himself.
“Lando is such an honest person,” Stella reasoned.
“He perpetuates this honesty in every kind of relationship, including the one with himself.”
“You need to find the right balance and you need to find the right dynamics in terms of communication to the world and in terms of communication to yourself, to put yourself in the position to perform today and in the position to keep improving every day,” Stella said.
“So you even how harsh he was on himself following, especially the qualifying on Friday will be an element of review.
“This review will happen, again, very honestly, and he will calibrate over time to see, do I really have to be with myself? What is the target here?
“There’s a bit of a journey, which is for Lando, it will be for Oscar, and is for each of us in the team.”