McLaren’s Lando Norris says he fully expects new teammate Daniel Ricciardo to push him hard ‘in every area’ during 2021. Lando Norris goes into his third season of Formula 1 and with McLaren alongside a new teammate. Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has joined the Woking team from Renault, and is an experienced figurehead of the sport with multiple wins and points finishes under his belt.
Norris’ former teammate Carlos Sainz was not only much closer in age to Lando, but their level of success and expectations in terms of podiums and points were also on par.
Norris, who turns 21 later this year, says the arrival of 31 year old Ricciardo marks the beginning of a whole new working relationship, and the British driver says his level of experience can only be of benefit to his learning curve.
“Absolutely, I only see it really as a positive.” said Norris. “Mainly from, as a guy who has been accredited – he can win races, he can score podiums, he is good in probably every single area! So for me, to kind of learn that little bit more from a different driver; get to know someone who has a different approach on things, and not kind of just get into the same habits that you get to know from one particular driver.”
“So, it is good for me to just experience something different within Formula 1, get to see how another driver performs – because in Formula 3 or Formula 4 you sometimes have 3 or 4 teammates.” continued Norris. “So you’re able to work with a lot of different people, whereas F1 & F2 is just one teammate, it is a bit harder to know as much, you kind of get used to working with one particular way or style with that other driver; so to kind of switch it up and to get to know someone different, learn how he approaches his races and his whole mindset of F1 is also going to be really interesting.”
“So, it is good for me, I can learn from him but also it is going to be a different way of working with him comparing to how I worked with Carlos in terms of helping the team out and working together as just teammates rather than the way I used to work with things with Carlos.”
Both Norris and Ricciardo get their first taste of the new MCL35M on Tuesday, when they travel to Silverstone for the team’s first filming day with the new Formula 1 car.
Having already spent time in the McLaren simulator, Norris says he has to wait to see in what areas Ricciardo is going to up the ante and increase the level at which he must perform: It is difficult for me to know just yet, I need to wait until we are on track and we do our first shakedown – which is this week!”
“And I will already be able to take things away from just doing a few laps and learning from him, from his feedback. And things on the simulator I have already been able to pick up on!”
“In terms of how and where he is going to push me more than ever, then it is difficult to know until we get into the proper pre-season tests, and we get into the first race because that is when everything comes alive a bit more and where people really show their true colours.” Norris explained. “So I do not have an exact answer for that just yet, but I am sure it is going to be basically every area where he is pushing me and hopefully I will be pushing him too – so that’s the aim.”