Benevolent Briton Takes Brief Break To Bust Knuckles

By Peter Nelson

July 23, 2020

Motorsport.com/Jonathan Noble

 

It’s pretty cool when we hear stories of drivers, crew members, etc., swapping roles or going the extra mile to help each other out in the pits. While it happens all the time in club racing (where drivers are often crew), it seems to be a rarity in professional racing, especially when it’s a massive operation like an F1 team.

 

This isn’t necessarily because drivers can’t be bothered to use a little elbow grease, its usually because strongly-defined roles make for efficient operation. Like the carbon-clad cars themselves, there are tons of moving parts to an F1 team. Though, in light of operating as a team during these times of COVID-19, when social distancing and other protocol have put more strain on operation, roles are starting to intermix a tad.

 

According to this story on Motorsport.com, twenty-year-old Lando Norris was spotted helping strip down his McLaren after the Hungarian Grand Prix. His reason for picking up a wrench? To help out his crew and relieve a little stress that they’ve endured over the past few weeks. “Three long weeks for my team. Though they could use a couple more hands,” he tweeted the evening after the race.

 

He explained that in his opinion, drivers often experience the least amount of stress on race day, so if he isn’t completely exhausted, why not help out? In light of social distancing, traveling between events being more complicated, and other inconveniences in our COVID-19 Era, its especially good to help out. Plus, the more relief that members of team McLaren have, the more effective the whole operation will be at running a good race.

 

“Honestly, it is tougher for the engineers and the mechanics because they’re the guys and girls who spend the most time at the track working and travelling," he said.

“It’s more of a kind of trying to look after them and keep them in good condition: especially the mechanics who are doing the pit stops and so on. They also have a big impact on performance.

“They also are the guys who can bring us overtakes and if you have good pitstops it can gain us positions and things like that.

“So, it’s trying to keep everyone in the best shape possible. For me, I’m fine, but it’s more of a question for them and I’m trying to look after them and keep them in the best condition.”

 

Good on him; we hope other drivers across different series do the same.