According to Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, was “crucial” in shaping him into a better driver while they were teammates at McLaren.
Ricciardo had a terrible year in 2022 and ultimately forfeited his chance to compete in the current world championship in 2023.
The Australian worked with Norris at McLaren for two years before taking a sabbatical, and he is now the Red Bull reserve driver. Norris has now acknowledged that Ricciardo is someone he looks up to, despite the Australian’s difficulties with the McLaren.
Lando Norris at McLaren far outpaced Daniel Ricciardo during their two-year partnership as team drivers. In fact, it was so bad that the squad was compelled to steal Oscar Piastri from Alpine.
Lando Norris discussed his friendship with Daniel Ricciardo, saying that the Australian gave him advice on how to handle difficult circumstances. Norris claimed that even though Daniel was going through a really difficult time at McLaren, he never allowed it to affect his optimistic opinions.
“I think his experience and mentality, to me, was always crucial in helping me become a better person, a better driver.” Norris said. “Daniel [Ricciardo] has always done a good job at hiding or just dealing with tough times.”
“That’s something I really admired with what he’s done. I probably wouldn’t be able to look back and really be as happy as what he’s been in the past if I was in a similar position.
“So that’s something I really do admire and try to be more like when I go through tough times.”
Recently, Daniel Ricciardo gave an explanation of his decision to delay his return rather than simply hopping into any of the F1 cars. The Australian said he was concentrating on regaining his confidence and that he didn’t want to move too quickly.
“I didn’t want to just jump back into a car, any car just to be one of the F1 drivers,” Ricciardo said. “And I still don’t see myself starting from scratch and rebuilding a career and going at it for another decade.
“I appreciate I might not have every opportunity under the sun but I want to win. I want to be back with a top team and obviously a team where I have my confidence back and my mojo.”
Currently, there is a huge question next to Ricciardo’s comeback because it is difficult to discern how the driver fits into the overall scheme of things. It would be intriguing to see whether the Australian can make it back to the F1 grid because he is still a highly talented driver.