Lando Norris felt that his more serious handling of the 2020 season had paid off, but people are still painting their own picture.
Norris became a fan favorite for his cheerful demeanor in his first Formula 1 campaign in 2019, as well as his pranks and memes on social media. But that didn’t stop people from accusing him of neglecting McLaren or his Formula 1 career.
So in 2020, Norris made a far more serious figure. He still found time for a laugh and a joke, but the interviews were much more serious and his social media pages followed the same trend.
The Brit said he still had people accusing him of joking around too much, but ultimately he won’t be someone he isn’t and accepts that people will always paint their own picture of him.
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“Overall, I’d say there have been a lot fewer times and a lot less things. I guess I mostly post on social media that are funny,” Norris told Motorsport.com.
“A lot of it comes from exactly what I post after the race. When it’s a difficult day [in 2019]I’ve always taken it as a joke or presented it as a joke with some of my comments on social media and things.
“Sometimes [last] Year I’ve only done [write], ‘hard day at the office, make your way to the next’. And it’s that simple.
“This is exactly the same as last year because I went to the factory and worked on the next race trying to figure out what went wrong. But I would just post a joke about it on social media.
“People would love that, but they just think, oh, he doesn’t do a job, so he doesn’t do it well enough, because he’s just too funny.
“That’s exactly how life is, I think, and how social media works, that’s the picture people paint of you.
“I still get similar things from a lot of people about how I’m still too funny and how I don’t work hard enough and so on.
“But inside the team, people know what I’m doing and that’s all I think is important and what I know about myself and how hard I work and things like that.
“I posted more, ‘Head down, for the next one,’ and that’s it. I wasn’t kidding about it and people would portray it differently and say that I work better and that this year I will do a better job.
“With something I post, people draw two pictures of it. But I do a very similar thing when I go back to the factory, go home and think about the next race and how I can do better.
“That’s just all I’ve done, but I’m still who I am in the paddock. I still say what I say. I still laugh because I laugh at jokes because they are funny.
“I’m not trying to be someone who is wrong and someone I am not.”
In 2020, Norris took his first Formula 1 podium at the Austrian Grand Prix at the opening of the season with P3. He would end the season P9 in the drivers’ standings with 97 points.
And for 2021 he will have a very tough benchmark with the seven-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo on the other side of the garage.
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