The 22-year-old British driver has enjoyed a stellar season with McLaren and is currently fifth in the standings with two races to go – the best of the rest after Red Bull and Mercedes. Norris extended his McLaren contract earlier this year, and says now is the right moment to move from his current base near the team factory in Woking to the tax haven of Monte Carlo.
“It’s something that obviously a lot of drivers go to do and especially, with how racing is, I think we’ve seen for other drivers how quickly things can also go downhill and so on,” said Norris. “I have to look after my things for my future.”
A number of current F1 drivers like in Monaco, including world champion Lewis Hamilton, championship leader Max Verstappen and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Norris feels he can now join them and that he no longer needs to reap the benefits of being close to the McLaren base.
“There was still a lot more to gain from me and my career to being at McLaren and being able to go in whenever I wanted to,” he explained. “Whenever I had a bad weekend, I could just go in on whatever day to be on the simulator to try things, speaking to my engineers, and so on. And I love England. It’s still probably my favourite place to be.
“My family are there, my friends are there. And I think I said many times that for me, fun and enjoyment, and enjoying what I’m doing, takes priority over making these kind of decisions. So it’s not a not an easy decision. And it’s not something I’ve been thinking of for many years.
“I just feel like I’m in a comfortable place at the minute to make this decision and spend the time to move over there. I can still see a lot of my friends, and my family are going to come over. So many things will remain exactly the same. It’s just that I’m based in a different place. Maybe I won’t get to play as much golf, which is probably the biggest downside. But there’s a couple places nearby that I can go and play and so on.”
Asked about facing criticism for leaving the UK to minimise his tax payments, Norris replied: “Of course I’ll understand and there’s going to be some [criticisms] for sure,” he said. “But people do many things in life for money. This is just another one.”