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It Was "Nice To See Someone Else Win The The F1 Title" Says Lando Norris

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It Was "Nice To See Someone Else Win The The F1 Title" Says Lando Norris

Lando Norris has admitted it was nice to see someone else win the Formula One world drivers' championship other than Lewis Hamilton, though he wasn't happy with how it all went down.

The dust from the controversy of last season's title decider, on the last lap of the final race, is only just settling.

Last week it was confirmed that Michael Masi, the race director at the heart of the issue between Max Verstappen and Hamilton, was being replaced for the forthcoming 2022 season.

Masi made the late decision to allow lapped cars between the title challengers to unlap themselves, but not the other lapped cars, putting the rivals side by side with just one lap to go and Verstappen on far newer tyres.

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The Red Bull driver didn't struggle to get past Hamilton in the Mercedes and went on to win the title, something that McLaren driver Norris believes is good for the sport, as was the battle at the front, up until the controversial ending.

"I think it was good for the sport," the British driver told SPORTbible exclusively when asked if the battle at the front last season was good for F1.

"Maybe not how it ended, of course, because I don't think how it ended, it wasn't necessarily like a fairytale ending in any way.

"It was like a bit unfair, you know, it's not how you want to see a sport being dealt with. 

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"But I think just the battle, it's not something we've had for many years and, I'm not gonna lie, it's a bit boring when you see Hamilton winning most races and, and every championship for the last five years or so.

Ricciardo had the perfect view for the final lap battle. Image: PA Images
Ricciardo had the perfect view for the final lap battle. Image: PA Images

"So I think we're just nice to see someone else win, not like I have anything against Lewis, but just for the sport.

"Nice to see someone else have a go, and see the battles throughout the whole season."

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With the cars behind Verstappen not being allowed to clear themselves of the front two, Norris' teammate Daniel Ricciardo was the next car back on track, despite being 12th in the race.

The Australian had the perfect view as the whole thing unfolded and as they began racing again it suddenly hit him that the race ahead was for the title.

"I was trying to kind of dissect everything that was going on, but I was like, 'Okay, I'm pretty sure this is for the title. And I'm pretty sure this is the last lap of the race.'

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"It was pretty nuts, it was obviously wild, and as you said, I had the best seat and I was in a privileged position. I just wish I had been part of the battle."

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Whist next season starts on March 20th, fans will only have to wait till the 11th to see how the whole battle ensued in the latest of Netflix's Drive to Survive series.

Ricciardo is certainly one of the most entertaining of the drivers on the docuseries, and the 32-year-old explained why he enjoys the process.

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"I've seen what it's done for the sport. It has had a massive impact, I would say in a positive way for sure. It's really extended the reach. 

"You know, it's a sport I grew up in love with but, when I was at school, maybe one other kid at school was watching F1.

"So I kind of at that time, I wish people knew more about it. And I wish it was kind of appreciated more. 

"Netflix has given us that, and so I think it's cool to give them time.

"When the episodes come out, you're a bit apprehensive about what you know, what are they going to put out? How am I going to come across or whatever, but for the most part, it's, it's been positive for us."

Ricciardo and Norris doing some promotional work for McLaren's sponsors Gopuff. Image: Gopuff
Ricciardo and Norris doing some promotional work for McLaren's sponsors Gopuff. Image: Gopuff

The former Red Bull driver picked up his first win since Monaco 2018, when he was still with the Austrian team, and McLaren's first since 2012, when he won in Italy, with Norris behind him in second, the only one-two of the entire season for any team.

The Aussie celebrated that win by doing his custom 'shoey,' drinking the race winning champaign from his own boot, and was joined by his teammate, and it's fair to say Norris regrets joining in.

"No, I won't be doing it again," the young Brit said, "Not with Daniel's shoe.

"It was a nice thing to do at the time, until I did it, of course.

"We put a bet on it, in the beginning of the season that if we were on the podium together, I guess especially if Daniel won or one of us won, then I'd have to do a shoey.

Lando 'enjoys' his first shoey, an experience he's unlikely to replicate. Image: PA Images
Lando 'enjoys' his first shoey, an experience he's unlikely to replicate. Image: PA Images

"So I made the bet and I obviously had to do it but it's It's a lot worse than you think.

"Like I'm not a fan of feet. I'm not a fan of sweat, and then I'm not a fan of what is the sparkling wine, or whatever we have in the bottles. So when you mix all the all these together it's it's far from from tasty.

"Like I said, good to do at the time. Probably look great on TV fans loved it and everything, but inside it was definitely not good at all."

Daniel then interjected, "He's still scarred from it," as you could hear in Lando's voice when talking about the shoey, "I didn't know what had that effect on you."

"I can still taste it," Norris said, still clearly feeling the effects.

Having come close to his first win in F1 a week after Monza, at the Russian Grand Prix, where the rain cost him the win, Norris will be hoping he finally gets to taste victory, it won't taste like a shoey however.

The pair will be excited to see if this year's new regulations, and the cap on spending, will help them get closer to the front, maybe next time Ricciardo won't just be watching the battle for the title...

Gopuff, the go-to platform for immediate delivery of consumers’ everyday needs, teamed up with McLaren’s Formula 1 Team as the Official Instant Delivery Partner. Find out more at Gopuff.com.

Featured Image Credit: PA/F1 TV

Topics: Spotlight, Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton

Ryan Sidle
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