Lando Norris says that starting conversations with McLaren regarding a new contract felt “a bit awkward” as he’d never had to do so before.
The 21-year-old has been one of the standout drivers of 2021 so far, sitting P4 in the Drivers’ Championship after a scintillating start in his competitive MCL35M.
He has since been rewarded with a new multi-year contract with the team, which was announced on Wednesday morning – meaning Norris and Daniel Ricciardo are both cemented as McLaren’s drivers for 2022 at the very least.
As it was the first time he had to do such a thing, he says that initially bringing up the matter of a new deal with CEO Zak Brown felt somewhat awkward.
“It was actually something I brought up when I went to dinner with Zak a while ago,” he told reporters in Monaco.
“He was talking a little bit about the future and I was just like: ‘You know, about these future years, is it something we want to start talking about now? Is it something you want to talk about later in the season?’
“Just because I don’t know when or how to bring it up, just like a guy talking to a girl for the first time, so a bit awkward.
“I think at that time they already started talking about it as a team, between Zak and Andreas and so on. And it was something that I preferably wanted to get out the way as soon as possible.
“We then started talking about it and all flowed from that. It was just a bit of a weird one for me to bring up, because I’ve not necessarily been in that position before.”
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With new developments at the team to come and new regulations on the way, Norris is pleased to have cleared up his future within the sport for good and thinks there are exciting times ahead as the team continues to progress.
“I’m happy with where I am,” he told Sky Sports.
“I have good confidence in the team and they have a good confidence in me. It’s just solidifying my place with the team.
“I’m happy to just make sure I’m in Formula 1 for some more years. For me, it’s nice to get it out of the way early in the season, I don’t have to think about it anymore.
“I can just focus on driving and let other people worry about different things later in the season. It’s good for me, it’s good for the team as well so we can focus on the future.”