Lando Norris said his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo is not ahead “big step” of his former teammate Carlos Sainz.
The British Formula 1 star is parting ways with Carlos Sainz from this season. Sainz moved to Ferrari and paved the way for Ricciardo to join Norris at McLaren.
Sainz – Ricciardo comparison
Norris and Sainz have been strong racing partners for the last couple of years at McLaren. The duo was quite popular in the Formula 1 circuit.
Time for one last message to the fans. 🧡✉️
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) December 14, 2020
Sainz being a competent racer, finished on the podium twice with McLaren. The Spaniard was sixth in the Drivers’ Championship in both of his seasons with the team. However, in 2021 Norris will be pairing up with someone who has more race winning experience than Carlos Sainz.
Daniel Ricciardo has picked up seven victories during his time with Red Bull. Seeing the potential, McLaren wanted to include him in the team to strengthen the squad further.
Norris taking on Riccardo
However, for Norris, this hype just puts an extra burden on his new teammate. Talking on this Norris conveyed, “I don’t think the arrival of Daniel will make it any harder for me.”
Adding on, Norris added, “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.”
“I don’t believe Daniel is a big step above anything that Carlos has achieved, and 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., Norris told in an interview.
"I’m curious to see how he drives a car and what his approach is."
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) February 7, 2021
“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. I am in that earlier phase of my career but I still need to perform very well, and there are no excuses for me anymore, said Norris at the launch of McLaren’s 2021 challenger, the MCL35M, as quoted by Firstpost.
The Spaniard further asserted, “I have more responsibility on me now than the past few years to lead the team. It is a big opportunity for me to take up that lead and I will work very hard on doing that.”
The Daniel story
Ricciardo moved to Renault in 2019. He scored two podium finishes with the team in 2020. The Australian finished fifth on the Driver’s Championship last season.
Arriving at the McLaren team that finished third in the 2020 Constructors’ Championship, he is looking forward to taking the initiative to stand tall on the podium.
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 17, 2021
In this context, the Australian said, “I feel like this team has a bunch of momentum and there is good stability. When I first talked to McLaren in 2018 there were still quite a few moving parts.”
“The results were not there on track, and they were trying to figure out their own structure. They have established that now and I am fitting into the puzzle as opposed to putting it all together.” Ricciardo concluded.
The 2021 Formula 1 season starts on March 28 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.