Despite battling illness to finish eighth in his McLaren, Lando Norris described the Spanish GP as “one of the hardest races ever.”
A doctor has determined that Norris has tonsillitis, after experiencing a fever and headache while in Barcelona over the weekend.
It wasn’t until he finished the race in eighth place that he was withdrawn from his post-race media duties and taken straight to the team doctor’s motorhome.
During an appearance on Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday, McLaren CEO Zak Brown provided an update on Norris’ condition and expressed optimism that the driver would be ready for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Brown agreed, saying, “Yeah, a great drive [from Norris].”
“He was in a critical condition. We weren’t even sure he’d get the okay from the doctor to get behind the wheel, but he did. Fortunately.
“He’s a tough guy, but he did an excellent job behind the wheel.
“Now that his tonsillitis has subsided, he can go to Monaco with the rest of us.
“In the lead, it was an exciting race; unfortunately, we weren’t there, but he did fantastically well nonetheless.
“He should be fine, in my opinion. As of today, he’s in a bad mood but he has four more days to get better, so I’m hoping for the best.
“He still doesn’t feel good sitting here right now.”
When asked about his health after the race, Norris said he couldn’t prepare properly for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix because he was fighting an illness.
After the race, Norris told McLaren that “today was tough.” “Before the race, I was sick with tonsillitis, and the high temperatures combined with that made this one of the most difficult races I’ve ever completed.
“This weekend has been a bit of a struggle for me because I’ve been battling this illness.
“As a result of having to miss a large number of engineering sessions, I was unable to fully prepare for this weekend’s Grand Prix.
I’m happy to have finished the race with good points for the team, so that’s a big relief for me.”
Over the weekend, Norris tested negative for Covid-19 multiple times.
During pre-race checks, the 22-year-old English driver was not allowed to join the rest of the field in front of the grid for the pre-race song.
A doctor has given permission for Norris to compete in the Grand Prix, and McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team wants to give him as much time off as possible before this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
In light of today’s doctor’s approval, “we went for it,” Seidl said. “Lando was clear from his side that he would give it a go.”
“He was clearly under the weather the entire weekend. When you have tonsillitis and your energy levels are low, as was the case with him, it was a difficult race and afternoon, especially given the high temperatures.
“Because of this, he was in rough shape toward the end of the race and immediately following it, but he was saved by the excellent medical care he received both on-site and within the team.
“The goal for the next phase is now clear. To prepare for our return to Monaco, we’ll need to make sure he gets plenty of rest over the next four days.”
Brown: Lando Norris ‘has an edge’ on Daniel Ricciardo
After Norris’ heroics for the McLaren team at the Spanish GP, Brown admitted that the young British driver currently has an edge on his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who hasn’t yet got to grips with his car.
Ricciardo finished in 12th in Barcelona and is yet to find form in the 2022 Formula One season and the McLaren CEO believes that goes to show just how much of a world-class talent Norris is.
“Lando definitely has an edge. There is no doubt that we would like to see Daniel get closer to Lando and engage in a spirited inter-team fight.
Dani is still getting used to the car, Brown said on Sky Sports’ Any Driven on Monday.
“A disappointing weekend once again despite our best efforts.
“With the exception of Monza and a few races, it hasn’t lived up to his or our expectations.
“Just keep working hard as a team, stay in communication, and hope that whatever isn’t working now will work out eventually.