Lando Norris bans pizza from strict diet in preparation for ‘hardest’ F1 season
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Lando Norris expects 2021 to be the hardest but best season of his fledgling Formula One career – and has banned pizza in an attempt to get in shape for the new campaign.
The 21-year-old will be starting his third year in F1 having already established himself as the youngest Briton to stand on the podium after finishing third in Austria last year.
This season he will be team up with seven-time grand prix winner Daniel Ricciardo, who is among the grid's most established names and arrives at McLaren on a three-year contract.
And Norris has been putting in the hours in the gym, as well as cutting back on pizza, to ensure he is in tip-top condition for next month's season opener in Bahrain.
Opening up on his preparations, he said: he said: "I have tried to be more strict with certain things, whether that is with food and trying not to have a pizza as often.
"I can still have a little treat now and then, but it is also the physical side of it, too. Trying to do more in the gym because I struggle with that part of it.
"I know I am in Formula One and I am in a very privileged position, but that doesn't matter because I can still struggle to want to go out on a run or go into the gym and lift weights.
"I struggle to motivate myself, so I have tried more things and pushed myself through moments that I hate because I know that good things come of it.
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"I am better prepared physically because of it. I am trying to think outside the box and dedicating more time to work out what is good for me and push myself to the next level.
"A lot of it is a mental game. I have tried to understand myself a bit more to push myself to the next level."
Norris also says the pressure is on big-name signing Ricciardo to deliver at McLaren this season.
In his opening two seasons, Norris was evenly matched with team-mate Carlos Sainz, and following the Spaniard's switch to Ferrari in place of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, he does not expect to be shown up by McLaren's new man.
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"I don't think the arrival of Daniel will make it any harder for me," said the 21-year-old as McLaren, who will be powered by Mercedes this season, became the first team to launch their 2021 car.
"I worked with Carlos who is an extremely good driver and there are things Carlos is going to be better at than Daniel and vice-versa.
"I don't believe Daniel is a big step above anything that Carlos has achieved, and there is more pressure on him because he has been in Formula One for longer and he has to come in and perform very well.
"It is harder for someone to go up against a much younger driver than it is for a younger driver going up against someone with more experience.
"I am in that earlier phase of my career but I still need to perform very well, and there are no excuses for me anymore."
- Formula One
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