Lando Norris jokes he ‘screwed’ fellow drivers with Abu Dhabi dinner choice

Lando Norris at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Interlagos November 2022. Credit: Alamy
Lando Norris at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Interlagos November 2022. Credit: Alamy

Lando Norris joked after qualifying in Abu Dhabi that he had fed the other drivers what he had in Brazil when they all went out to dinner together.

Images appeared online of the class of 2022 heading out for a fancy do, a retirement party for Sebastian Vettel who is bowing out of Formula 1 after the race weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton, who has spoken about the strong relationship he has built up with Vettel over the years, is reported to have initiated the plan – and thankfully for those two and everyone else, Norris was only joking when he claimed he had actually been in charge of the menu.

Norris was unwell at last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix after a bout of food poisoning, and so he quipped he had taken inspiration from that for his fellow drivers as McLaren look to overhaul Alpine in Abu Dhabi and snatch P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Starting from P7 in Abu Dhabi, Norris will have his buddy and Sao Paulo GP sprint and race winner George Russell one place ahead of him on the grid.

Asked how eager he is to get ahead of Russell on Sunday, Norris told Sky Sports F1: “I’m eager, [but] it won’t last long!

“But I mean we need something, we need some magic tomorrow to achieve what we need to achieve, to finish P4 in the Constructors’.

“We need 19 points and that’s not possible with a seventh and an eighth, so we need something. Everyone said Lewis took everyone out to dinner the other night but it was me, and I fed them what I had in Brazil, so they’re screwed!

“We need some luck, that’s all, but we’ll do a good job.”

As Norris referred to, he will need his McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to shine on his final appearance for the team, plus a nice slice of luck, with Ricciardo set to launch from P13 after incurring a three-place grid penalty for a collision with Kevin Magnussen in Sao Paulo.

The situation is finely poised with Esteban Ocon starting from P8, while Fernando Alonso is P10 on the grid as he goes racing with Alpine for one final time before moving to Aston Martin.

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