Norris further set himself apart from other drivers when, before a wheel had barely turned in anger this season, he opted to spend time at the factory in a way that would not cross the minds of some of his now peers.
Across eight days Norris was effectively a work experience apprentice, learning about the behind-the-scenes methods of the many different departments that go into making up a race team. Norris wanted hands-on experience, to gain a greater understanding of what goes into the manufacturing process of the car he is now so proud to drive.
“A lot of it was introducing myself to the team, getting to know everyone a bit more, while at the same time there was the bonus of learning about what everyone does, how things work, how a Formula 1 car is built,” reflected Norris.
“I’m generally quite creative. I like design, artwork and everything like that. A lot of the stuff was pretty cool. Everyone loves the trim shop, the paint shop, the carbon and stuff.”
Norris left no-one out as he even saw the guys on the night shift. As you can appreciate, he immediately endeared himself to everyone in the team.
“They told me what I did doesn’t happen a lot but it was fun to do,” said Norris, who then outlined the bigger picture as to the changes that have occurred at McLaren in recent times and made the team one that is again respected rather than laughed at.
“I was told things have changed, that more of the bosses have come in and checked on how everything has been going, with more people being interested in what they do, how they do it.
“It's something they like and motivates them in some ways. They're not just in their bubble, in whatever room they are in just working away all of the time.
“It makes them care a bit more about what they do, makes them think about how much effort they’re putting into things and what it's going towards, which is towards me, and me then having to do a good job on track with all of these things they're making.
“It was definitely a good thing, not just for myself but also for them and then, having a driver come down and getting involved.”
Photography by Motorsport Images.