Competition with Norris will be ‘fierce’ and drive McLaren forward, says new recruit Ricciardo
McLaren’s new arrival Daniel Ricciardo is expecting to have fun with team mate Lando Norris off track but “fierce” competition on it as the duo look to drive the iconic British team forward and build on last year's third place in the constructors’ championship.
Ricciardo joins McLaren from Renault for his 11th F1 campaign, with seven race victories and 31 podiums under his belt, and partners Norris, 10 years his junior. Norris enjoyed something of a breakthrough campaign last year, scoring his first F1 podium in Austria and demonstrating impressive consistency in what was only his second season of Grand Prix racing.
The pair have form for entertaining both on and off track, and Ricciardo sees no reason why that won’t continue with their new partnership. “I think we both have a similar approach to the game,” said Ricciardo on the day McLaren launched their 2021 challenger, the MCL35M, which you can see in the gallery below.
“We both love what we do, we enjoy our job and we’re not afraid to show that. We have the same approach but also we are from a bit of a different generation. I think I’m 10 years on Lando, so yeah I think it creates quite a good combination.
Off-track for sure we’ll always be seen to be having a good time, but I do believe the competition on-track will be good, will be fierce,
“Off-track for sure we’ll always be seen to be having a good time, but I do believe the competition on-track will be good, will be fierce, and more importantly I think driving the team forward. That’s something we want to state among ourselves - do the best among the team, then go for it when the lights go out.”
Ricciardo joins McLaren on the back of two campaigns with Renault, having previously raced for Red Bull, Toro Rosso and HRT – however that doesn’t mean he’s not still willing to learn from Norris.
“I’m certainly the more experienced in F1, this being my 11th season, but Lando is the more experienced at McLaren,” said Ricciardo. “So for sure there’s some things I can learn from him, particularly in the team itself, and the integration into the McLaren family.
“Every time you have a new team mate it’s a real opportunity to learn something new, whether it’s work ethic, driving technique, or both. I’m always pretty openminded.
"I know every driver has confidence in themselves and their ability, I am very confident as an individual but I’m also openminded, and if there is something I can take from Lando and use it to better myself then obviously I’m looking to learn as much as I can.”