Norris: No-one I want to be beat more than Sainz despite bromance

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While their friendship remains strong off-track, Lando Norris admits Carlos Sainz is the first man he wants to beat on it.

The pair became well-known for their bromance during their time as teammates at McLaren, and that has continued despite the Spaniard's switch to Ferrari in 2021.

In fact, the 'CarLando' bond is still much stronger than that Norris has with new teammate Daniel Ricciardo despite their similar jovial personalities.

“[Daniel and I] still get on well, we still have good laughs, we’re still good mates and everything," the Briton said comparing his two relationships via recently.

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“But one simple thing is our interests away from the circuit are very different; he’s more into making wines and clothing and things and I’m more into golf and Esports and those kinds of things, which Carlos was a bit more into.

“So [Carlos and I would] play golf every now and then and get on the sim and race each other and those kind of things.

"One simple thing of becoming better mates is spending time together and enjoying yourself – and playing golf was one of those things that made a lot of things better.”

Of course, this season Norris has been one of the top performers, scoring at every race, including three podiums, and still sits third in the Drivers' Championship.

And it was put to the 21-year-old that Sainz's departure could be a reason for his improvement.

“I’m not sure – I think I am focusing more on myself than I have done, focusing on the important things, the things I really need to focus on which is my driving, having a performance like I’m having this year," he replied.

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“A part of that is focusing on things you really need to focus on in order to do a better job, spending time with my engineers, and less time chatting and having fun and things like that.

“But I’m not taking anything away from my enjoyment of Formula 1,” added Norris. “I still love it and do everything I want to do.

"There’s just a bigger shift towards the focus and the work ethic side. There definitely has been an effect but I can’t tell you how much.”

As fate would have it, McLaren and Ferrari have also emerged as rivals for third place in this year's Constructors' Championship.

And so while there is still that close friendship, Norris concedes the competitive fire between himself and Sainz is also very strong.

“He knows how I drive and he knows how we think as a team,” he told

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“Of course we try to change things up a bit so that he doesn’t know everything. But that’s just one of the pros and cons of someone changing teams and stuff.

“Of course we both have our own schedule, but there is probably no one I would want to beat more than Carlos and probably vice versa.

“He wants to beat McLaren and we want to beat Ferrari just as much. That’s part of the challenge, but maybe we’ll play golf again tomorrow.”