Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris were considered to have had a very good working and personal relationship while they were together at McLaren, but the Brit has recently revealed that they “hated each other” at times.
In an interview this week, Norris stressed the importance of drivers outperforming their team-mates in Formula One and said “there is always tension” between them for this reason.
“There is always tension between team-mates. Even if someone says is none, there is always some,” Norris told German-language publication Motorsport-Total.com.
“Sometimes you might try to hide it, even with me and Carlos. We hated each other a lot.
“You don’t want to be beaten by your team-mate and you don’t want to look bad against him. He’s the last one you want to lose to.
“Even if you put on a smile, it hurts deep inside you and you just hate the other person because he’s so fast, he does something you find difficult or you just can’t keep up,” Norris added.
Commenting on having Sainz as his team-mate for his first season in F1, Norris said they were both very ambitious and were the “perfect combination” to drive McLaren forward.
“I had never spoken to Carlos before. I didn’t know him and I didn’t know what he was like.
“We became good friends off the track but also tough competitors and good team-mates.
“We wanted to bring the team forward. We wanted to win races and we worked well in harmony.
“At the same time, we were also very ambitious among ourselves. It just worked well, as team-mates and as rivals. I think we had the perfect combination.”
Next season, Daniel Ricciardo will partner Lando Norris at McLaren, while Carlos Sainz will be racing with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari.