Motor racing-Monaco bump-start another winner's perk for 'Lambo' Norris

FILE PHOTO: May 5, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; McLaren driver Lando Norris (4) celebrates winning the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

IMOLA, Italy (Reuters) - Lando Norris discovered another reward of becoming a Formula One winner after he was unable to start his classic Lamborghini on the streets of Monte Carlo and fans came to the rescue.

The 24-year-McLaren driver, who celebrated his first F1 victory in Miami on May 5, found himself at a standstill after he took his beloved Miura sportscar out for a spin in the Mediterranean principality.

The Briton told reporters at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Thursday that more people had started noticing him since Miami but he still went out for dinner and drove around as before.

The Miura, produced by Lamborghini from 1966 to 1973, is a prized possession but sadly one whose rare beauty and eye-watering price tag is unmatched by reliability.

"It didn’t start," said Norris, one of the most popular driver whose car collection has become familiar to many on social media.

"But then the fans recognised me and they pushed my car and they bump-started it down the hill. So I was like mega," he laughed.

"Maybe if I didn’t win the race they wouldn’t have noticed me, they wouldn’t have started it. So those are the perks in life. People can bump-start your car for you, in the Miura. That kind of thing."

Norris also spoke of his response to social media critics who have replaced their taunts of 'Lando No-wins' by focusing on interviews in which he has talked about chasing titles.

Until Miami, Norris had held the Formula One record for most podium finishes without winning.

"I went through all the comments liking all the bad ones," he grinned.

"It said 'this guy has won one win and his ego has gone through the roof'. I liked it. I was like 'yes, it has'.

"You can’t please everyone. I look at it because I try and not be on the bad side of anyone. But if I'm not confident, people are like, 'you have got no faith in the team'.

"And the minute I say we can win more races, which I already said at the beginning of the year, people are like 'calm down, hotshot'."

Norris said he was not being arrogant or pretending to be unbeatable but wanted to motivate his engineers, mechanics and team mates.

"They want to read what I say. And I understand that now more than I use to a couple of years ago," he said. "Winning motivates them more and me having confidence in them motivates them more so I need to say the right things."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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