McLaren’s Lando Norris admits he is not paid enough to want to move to Monaco

Lando Norris has admitted he is not paid enough by McLaren to want to follow in the footsteps of his Formula One contemporaries and live in Monaco.

Norris, 20, who was speaking at the British team’s season launch, is set to embark on his second year in the sport following a largely successful rookie campaign.

Norris was rewarded with a new McLaren deal last summer, but his modest £400,000 yearly wage ensures he is not ready to uptake motor racing tradition by moving to the principality.

Alexander Albon, the London-born Red Bull driver who came through the junior ranks alongside Norris, has revealed he is swapping his Milton Keynes family home for Monaco.

“I am firmly staying in the UK,” said Norris. “Compared to a lot of the other drivers, I am not earning the amounts that would make it more beneficial to live in Monaco than the enjoyment loss of going into London with my friends.

“Hopefully that is something I can look forward to in the future.”

Instead, during the sport’s off-season, Norris has left his Guildford flat to take up sticks within striking range of McLaren’s Woking headquarters.

“I timed it the other day and it took me three minutes and 20 seconds to get home from the factory, and that is driving within the speed limit,” he added.

“I like everything how it is now. I like going out with my group of friends, and I still have a lot of fun. If I move to Monaco I am not going to enjoy things at all.”

Norris helped to take the wraps off the new car McLaren hopes will enable them to take another step forward on their journey back to the front of the grid.

Britain’s most successful team has spent much of recent F1 history in turmoil, but they finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year, with Norris’ team-mate Carlos Sainz recording McLaren’s first podium in five years at last season’s chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris
Lando Norris

“I get noticed a little bit more but I am not Lewis Hamilton,” added Norris, who recorded a best finish of fifth in his maiden campaign.

“I don’t get stopped everywhere I go. I am at the point where it is cool. I am not at the point yet where I need to go undercover.

“Now and then, you do get the odd face staring at you at dinner. You are trying to eat and then you have some guy watching you which is a bit weird, but I don’t mind.”

Meanwhile Norris’ boss Zak Brown has been told by F1 chiefs the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix is set to go ahead as planned.

Less than 2 months to go! The Pit Building is ready, the stage is set & we are about to the newest circuit to grace the #F1 calendar. The team has been working tirelessly to keep everything on schedule! See you in Hanoi for the first ever F1 VinFast Vietnam Grand Prix!

— F1 Vietnam Grand Prix (@F1VietnamGP) February 8, 2020

Hanoi is located near the Chinese border and is due to stage the third round of the season on April 5.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for April 19, has been postponed following the outbreak of coronavirus.

“Vietnam has not been raised yet as a potential issue,” said chief executive Brown. “Obviously it is very nearby so we are going to monitor the situation.

“We will never do anything that puts our people at risk and I don’t think Formula One would either.”