Daniel Ricciardo is an Australian driver who shifted from Renault to McLaren for the 2021 season. Initially the Australian struggled in adapting a life at McLaren but being alongside a mini version of himself, Lando Norris and a loving and supportive team like McLaren it did not take much time for Daniel to win his first podium with McLaren after a long time at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo struggled in the first half of the 2021 season with Norris comfortably topping the qualifying and scoring more than double in points tally compare to the Australian. The break through win at the Italian Grand Prix with the title rivals crashing, stimulated an improvement in the second half but was a bit too late in covering up the gap in points between him and Lando.
Daniel Ricciardo talks about his teammate, Lando Norris:
Daniel Ricciardo learnt a lot about his teammate after joining the McLaren family. He was really impressed by Norris’ form over the course of the season along with his performance and the limits he could push to with the car.
In an interview, when asked about Lando’s performance over the year, Daniel said,“In a way I was… I don’t want to say surprised, because there’s 20 of us here out of many in the world who are trying to get here, so I’m always expecting someone very talented, someone fast,” said Ricciardo.
“But I guess the scale, you’re not really sure [about it]. I’ll be honest, probably like most of the world in F1, I think I knew Lando was good, but I didn’t know where the scale went to, and I think he pushed that scale as high as it could probably go last year.”
“Again, I don’t know another word for surprise, because I wasn’t surprised. I guess I was impressed – maybe that’s a better word – with his skill, with the level he took the car to. That was obviously at times for me difficult, because I was not always there. But it was also encouraging to see that the car could be put to that level. It was for me to then try and figure out [how to improve].” He added.
Norris compared with Vettel and Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo had some intriguing observations regarding the current and his previous teammates. As of their behaviour off the track, Daniel said that “everyone’s been pretty different”
Sebastian Vettel had a very mature approach to things when Ricciardo first joined the team as a rookie and said, “He had a very mature approach; it was, ‘This is what I want’, but he did it respectfully. He was kind of as you would expect him to be, with that German efficiency. Vettel just came out of four titles; he was the older guy in the team and I was the rookie.”
“There are probably more parallels between Lando and Max. Lando still goes into a lot of detail, in my opinion. Max is probably more intuitive, whereas Lando may be more technical in his interpretation.”
“I mean, I always see Max leaving the track earlier than us, so that’s kind of what I’m trying to say!,” Ricciardo joked.