Lunchtime and a visit to the McLaren Technology Centre. It is a treat that never grows old. The cool sci-fi calm of the long, lakeside boulevard peppered by some of the world’s most famous racing cars always triggers a flutter of adrenaline. Imagine working here, every day. In the race departments, fully exposed like fish in an aquarium – still amazing given the sensitive secrecy of F1 team operations – busy staff are fully engrossed, seemingly oblivious to outside distraction. It feels wrong to stare too long. But then suddenly their heads bob up, they look through the glass, smile and wave at the skinny-legged figure who’s just entered the building. He stops, returns the smiles and waves back. Here on his home patch, everyone loves Lando Norris. It’s impossible not to – especially right now.
“I live a cool life, I can’t complain about anything,” he admits as we settle beside an MCL35 carrying the smart (sadly one-off) Gulf Oils livery, as featured on his drive to a fine podium third at Monaco a few weeks earlier. “Things are going well.”