Landon Norris believes it would be very valuable for McLaren to get Fernando Alonso’s feedback on its 2019 car, even if he doesn’t want to give up his own seat time.
Alonso retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 2018 season, with Abu Dhabi on Sunday his last race. However, the two-time world champion says he will remain part of the McLaren setup and Zak Brown is open to Alonso testing next year’s car, something Norris — who will make his F1 race debut next year — thinks would help the team understand the direction it is taking.
“I think it’ll be very valuable,” Norris (pictured above, with Alonso) said. “He’s obviously got the best idea of how the car’s changed over the years, the best experience of what’s good and what’s bad — a lot more than I do. Obviously I don’t know what’s going to happen … he still is part of McLaren, I guess a lot is up to him.
“Of course I would like to have as many days as possible but if everyone comes to a decision and thinks it’s for the good of the whole team and his feedback would be just as important as mine or Carlos’ (Sainz) then I think it’s a good thing. But there’s a long way to go until we see what he wants to do and if he wants to get in an F1 car again.”
While Norris has completed a number of FP1 sessions at recent races, McLaren used its full 2019 line-up during this week’s Pirelli tire test and the 19-year-old says the focus on himself rather than Alonso or Stoffel Vandoorne was noticeable.
“It definitely felt a bit different. I think it was not more pressure, but you just had to think more — realizing basically that a lot of this stuff is more for my own good and things that will really benefit me a lot more for next year.
“Although doing all the FP1s and everything is similar — everything is going to be helping — this is a lot more, for me, working with the team, the engineers, trying to get everything based more around me rather than Fernando and Stoffel. More focus on really trying to make the best for me, and not so much about the others.”