Lando Norris doesn’t want to fill Sebastian Vettel’s boots, says he has become less ruthless

Sebastian Vettel announced he will retire at the end of 2022.

Lando Norris has enjoyed a strong first half to 2022, after ending the first part of the season as ‘best of the rest’ in the Drivers’ Championship.

The McLaren F1 Team driver hasn’t been able to fight with the frontrunners as often so far this season, with the Woking-based side having taken a step back this year.

Despite this, Norris has still managed to finish on the podium in 2022, after finishing third at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix earlier in the season.

The British driver, who is now in his fourth season in F1, has continued to come out of his shell and show-off his personality and racing style.

READ: Mercedes came close to signing Sebastian Vettel instead of Lewis Hamilton

The Brit has been fierce in attack and defence at times, similar to what the retiring Sebastian Vettel was like in the early days of his career in the sport.

Nowadays, Vettel is a midfield runner with the Aston Martin F1 Team, rather than a race winner.

The German has turned his attention to supporting various campaigns through activism, such as environmental and climate change.

The four-time World Champion has been extremely vocal in recent years, something Norris is planning to take onboard a “little bit” going into the future.

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“A little bit,” he told when asked if he would become more vocal in the paddock.

“I’m not going to fill his [Vettel’s] boots.

“I don’t think anyone in their first five years of Formula 1 is going to fill the boots of a guy who is in their final year of Formula 1 and the Seb of now is a very different Seb to the Seb of five-10 years ago.

“The ruthless Seb doesn’t look so ruthless anymore. If Multi21 came back, he might abide by it this time,” Norris added.

Vettel was known in the first five years of his career in F1 for being a relentless winner; however, this at times got him in serious trouble.

Norris’ “Multi21” comment refers to the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix, where Vettel was told not to overtake Red Bull Racing team-mate at the time Mark Webber, with the team set on a comfortable one-two victory.

Vettel decided not to listen to his instructions and overtook the Australian to claim victory.

Webber was furious with Vettel, who in the cooldown room continued to say to Vettel “Multi21 Seb”.

Vettel was met by boos when he stepped onto the podium, something which occurred at the Singapore Grand Prix that same season.

“It’s very difficult and I don’t think you can put pressure on any young driver to say why aren’t you doing what Seb is doing, because young Seb wasn’t doing what Seb is doing now,” Norris referred to Malaysia.

“I believe Seb is saying everything and doing everything he can for the best reasons.”

“He’s creating chit-chat and creating headlines which is his whole thing that he is trying to do.

“It might look silly having some bees on your helmet and stuff like that, but he has created stuff out of it and is doing exactly what he wants to do. I have a lot of respect for that.”

Whilst Vettel is hoping to inspire younger drivers to speak up once he’s gone, Norris isn’t planning on doing so to the same extent anytime soon.

READ: Lewis Hamilton wants people to think ‘has he got his balls pierced?’

The Brit is wanting to “focus” on performing well for McLaren, with Norris wanting to “make the most” from his F1 career.

“I just need to make sure that I focus on my job in Formula 1 and I don’t get criticised for doing that before…not caring about that completely like Seb now,” Norris continued.

“I’ve just got to make the most out of my career and do the best job on track but not mind if people say, ‘Why aren’t you trying?’ because he knows that every day, he tries his absolute hardest and is giving his absolute best every day.”