Norris: Sim racing can make me a better F1 driver
McLaren driver Lando Norris reckons his sim racing exploits, which included teaming up with Max Verstappen last weekend, can help make him a better Formula 1 driver.
Norris is an eager gamer, and regularly broadcasts his racing exploits online. He recently joined Verstappen in a Team Redline assault on iRacing’s Bathurst 12 Hours, but the event ended in frustration after an early crash by their team boss Atze Kerkhof put them out of contention.
But even without a hard result to show for his efforts, Norris says he is constantly able to learn more about car setups that have real world benefits.
“There are definitely things you can learn from a strategy perspective,” said Norris. “I tend to like the endurance races and I attempted in doing one at the weekend with Max…
“We go through hours and hours of preparation trying to do setup stuff and, from that side of things, you learn a lot about different cars.
“A lot of it relates very well back to an F1 car. So you try ride heights, wings, camber, caster, whatever, tyre pressure.
“You are staying involved in all this and knowing what everything does and the combinations of, for example, if you go with this wing you can get away with a bit more lower rear ride height and things like that. Sometimes people don’t know that.”
Norris says that the intensity of online racing, and how serious it has become nowadays, it also something that brings him great satisfaction.
“A lot of it is for the enjoyment point of it,” he said. “I love driving on the sim and doing races, and putting the time and effort in and hopefully getting a good result out of it.
“Sometimes it is not always a good result and your teammate crashes on lap five and you don’t get to drive that much!
“Putting in the hours and the passion and dedication just for a simulator race, I absolutely love. I can learn from people like Max and not just real life drivers, people who drive in the sim, they know a lot about how to set up a car even.
“For the race we did in Bathurst we had a proper engineer, we had another simulator guy who runs a simulator company in the Netherlands. There are a lot of wise people that you can learn from, and it is not just drivers.”
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Lando Norris, McLaren, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren
Photo by: McLaren
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