Lando Norris admits he has been learning from Fernando Alonso’s approach during the opening days of their time as teammates ahead of this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The McLaren F1 reserve driver is sharing a car with both the two-time Formula 1 world champion and Phil Hanson, driving an LMP2 Ligier for United Autosports. Alonso is using the 24-hour race as a learning experience for a future Le Mans attempt – potentially with Toyota this year – and Norris says there has been plenty he can pick up from the way his McLaren stablemate goes about his work.
“Fernando’s been really open to helping Phil and me,” Norris said. “I don’t think he’s too worried about whether we’re particularly fast or slow. Obviously, he wants to be the fastest, but he knows it’s a team game.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot from him – not really the driving side, but more about how he approaches the test, the laps he does, how he gives feedback to the engineers.”
Norris expects United Autosports to look more competitive during this weekend’s Rolex 24 than it did during the ROAR earlier this month, when the No.23 car only 12th fastest, as both he and the team gain more experience with the car.
“I haven’t really done any long stints yet – that’s the major challenge,” he said. “In Formula 3, races were around 45 minutes, so it’s a big step up to be doing a three-hour stint. In the night. We have tested in the darkness, so I’ve already had a taste of that. At first, you lose some of your braking markers, but you adjust. It’s a pretty cool experience to drive at night.
“I think we struggled to find a set-up during the ROAR weekend. Hopefully, we’ll go into the race weekend having made some progress in that area, so I think we’ll look better than we did at the test.”