With the seasoned Daniel Ricciardo joining McLaren, there was bound to be a clash between him and his new teammate Lando Norris, who has stated during the MCL35M launch that he would be taking a more prominent role inside the team. It’s understood that Norris had mixed emotions following his short time alongside the Australian.
Written By Tom Macpherson, Edited By Umut Yelbaşı
Norris was a big fan of his former teammate Carlos Sainz, and learnt a lot from him during their two year stint. “I worked with Carlos who is an extremely good driver and there are things Carlos is going to be better at than Daniel and vice-versa.” Although Carlos has proven himself with high finishes in 2019 and 2020, he did not achieve a race win. “I don’t believe Daniel is a big step above anything that Carlos has achieved,” Norris went on to say. “There is more pressure on him because he has been in Formula One for longer and he has to come in and perform very well.” The Briton stated that the pressure was a lot less extreme on him than his new teammate. “It is harder for someone to go up against a much younger driver than it is for a younger driver going up against someone with more experience.”
On the other hand, Norris has said that he will not know until the new season properly starts in which areas Ricciardo will push him the most and help him develop, but the British driver revealed he is already gleaning pointers from his new teammate in the McLaren simulator.
“It’s difficult [for] me to know just yet, I need to wait until we’re on-track and we do our first shakedown,
“I will already be able to take things away from just doing a few laps, learning from him, learning from his feedback. There are things on the simulator already I’ve been able to pick up on,
“In terms of how and where he’s going to push me more than ever, it’s difficult to know until we get into the proper pre-season test and we get into the first race, because that’s when everything comes alive a little bit more and people show their true colours.”
It seems like Norris is trying to find his position in the team and doesn’t know where Ricciardo fits into his plan yet. It is obvious that Lando wants to prove that he is not intimidated by the Australian, but until pre-season testing, we won’t know how the new teammates square up.