LANDO NORRIS will swap Woking for Monte Carlo after becoming the latest F1 star to move to the principality.
Norris, 22, has had an excellent season with McLaren and is in fifth place in the drivers’ championship.
The Bristol-born racer, who grew up near Glastonbury, has taken four podiums and agonisingly missed out on his first victory at the Russia GP when he slid off in the wet.
Likeable Norris will join the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon living in the tax haven.
And while he knows there will be some who will criticise his decision to swap the UK for Monaco, he says it makes financial sense.
Norris had declared in 2018 and again in April that had no intention to move to Monaco, but he has now had a change of heart.
He said: “I’m moving to Monaco after [the final race in] Abu Dhabi for the reasons you probably expect.
“It’s something that obviously a lot of drivers go to do, and especially with how racing is – I think you’ve seen it with a lot of the drivers, how quickly things can also go downhill.
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“I still have to look after my life and things for my future so that’s why I had to make the decision.
“I went with my managers and my trainer and we had a little look around a few different apartments and stuff.
“I was like ‘I don’t want to be in the same place as Max!’. I don’t know where Lewis is? He’s on the opposite side… I don’t know anybody else over there.
“But I’m around that area in Fontvieille, which is a nice, quiet place.”
There are similarities to Hamilton when he moved to Switzerland in 2007. Like Norris is now, Hamilton was 22 at the time.
He was also driving for McLaren and had secured a lucrative deal, but his switch earned him plenty of criticism – and still does.
Interestingly, Norris has picked to live in Fontvieille, a location picked by Jenson Button during his racing days, who did not get nearly as much stick as Hamilton.
When Norris is quizzed if he knew about the criticism Hamilton received, he replies, “Yes. Of course I’ll understand it, and there’s going to be some, for sure”.
Norris signed a new McLaren deal in the summer that is estimated to be worth around £4.5million-a-year.
He currently shares a house near their factory, picked so he could make regular trips to use the simulator, helping him get up to speed with F1.
But after his standout season, he feels more established in the sport however he says he has not taken the decision to move lightly.
He added: “I signed my contract this year. I think I’ve still got a few more years!
“It doesn’t change anything, like it doesn’t mean I’ll do any less days work at McLaren.
“I’ll still be spending my days in the UK preparing and doing that side of it. And I still get to see my family and my friends and all of that.
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“It’s not an easy decision, and it’s not something I’ve been thinking of for many years. I just think I’m in a comfortable place at the minute to make this decision and spend the time to move over there.
“I’ll still see a lot of my friends. My family are going to come over. Many things 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!”