Norris: Ricciardo can strike back when things click at McLaren F1

Lando Norris says he is not taking it for granted that he’s got the measure of McLaren Formula 1 team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, despite outperforming the more experienced Australian in 2021.

Norris: Ricciardo can strike back when things click at McLaren F1

Despite being beaten by Ricciardo to McLaren’s only win of the campaign so far at the Italian Grand Prix, Norris has shone against him in their first season paired together.

The 22-year-old has amassed 153 points so far, compared to the former Renault driver's tally of 105.

But with the team aware that some of Ricciardo’s deficit down to him simply needing time to adapt to the new characteristics of the McLaren car, Norris fully accepts that the situation could change next season and that he could bounce back a different driver if the new-for-2022 car is more to his liking.

PLUS: The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

Reflecting on this season’s rivalry with Ricciardo, Norris said: “I think it's been very good for me. It's also been one of the parts making me enjoy a bit more the environment.

“There's always that question of when you go up against a driver like that: are you going to do well? Is he going to beat me in every single qualifying or race of the season?

“Those thoughts go through your head a little bit for the year. So when none of that happens then you feel like 'okay, if I can do this against him and he could beat this guy when he was in the same car, then I must be in a decent place.' So it makes you think of good things.

“But then, on the flip side, it doesn't make me feel like I'm suddenly the best driver in the world. There have still been some races where he has been quicker than me and qualifying sessions where he has been a bit quicker.

“I know he's still Daniel. Once he clicks and finds his way and so on, I hope to still be quicker than him. But I know it's not going to be like, I'm always quicker because he's a very, very good driver.

“But my confidence has definitely come up with how I feel like I've performed. And it's not necessarily all because I've beaten Daniel.”

Norris has outscored Ricciardo in their first year together

Norris has outscored Ricciardo in their first year together

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

In the short term, Norris needs Ricciardo to perform as well as possible as McLaren bids to try to recover lost ground to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

The Woking-based outfit has slipped to 39.5 points behind Ferrari with just two races remaining.

The gap between the two teams is the largest it has been all season, and Norris thinks that Ferrari’s late season engine upgrade has proved to be the game changer.

“It's helped them,” he said. “They were very good on energy before. They have a lot of deployment, which, in some circuits doesn't make a massive difference, but in other circuits definitely helps.

“When we are clipping on the straight, and we lose 20 km/h, they just keep going. It makes a big difference in terms of how you can race them and overtake and stuff.

“I think it's just been very close all season and I still believe we've done a better job as a team.

“I think there's been more races where they've been quicker, but they’ve just made more mistakes than us. They should be further ahead.

“But it's tough. If I look at the drivers’ championship, I'm still ahead of both of them [Ferrari drivers].

“Of course, I want the team to be up there. But I feel like I've done as much as I can to help out on that side of it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Brundle: Bottas will play bigger role than Perez in F1 title battle
Previous article

Brundle: Bottas will play bigger role than Perez in F1 title battle

Next article

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations
Load comments
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022