Ex-McLaren F1 Driver Warns Norris Amid Daniel Ricciardo Duel: “Pretty Ruthless on Track”

Published 03/22/2021, 8:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


McLaren have made key changes for the 2021 season to aid their on-track performance. They have signed Australian Daniel Ricciardo to replace the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz. The Daniel Ricciardo signing is a signal of intent from the British team and according to former F1 legend David Coulthard could give Lando Norris added motivation.

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The Woking team have gone from strength to strength since the change of management to the current Zak Brown regime. They have brought the right people on and off the track to help with their meteoric rise to third in the 2020 Constructor’s Championship. The team will be hoping the signing of the funny Aussie takes them to the next level as a contender to Red Bull and Mercedes.

Daniel Ricciardo will roughen up Lando Norris according to David Coulthard

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In an interview, former F1 multiple race winner David Coulthard believes the signing of Daniel Ricciardo will be a great test for Lando Norris. He spoke about the young Brit’s former teammate Sainz and said, This is a great test for Lando. In Carlos, he had a quick team-mate but also one that was pretty easy going and part of knowing your competitors is knowing your team-mate.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 13, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The Scotsman contrasts this with the on-track demeanor of the Aussie. He said, “And with Daniel, he’s easy-going off track but he is pretty ruthless on track and has that racer’s heart and edge, which we saw come out when he was alongside Max and Seb.

The former race winner, however, believes this will be the making of the young driver. He said, It will be a difficult time for Lando. But it’s also a great opportunity for him to step up and show he can get his elbows out.”

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Can McLaren continue their 2020 momentum in 2021?

McLaren have been very upwardly-mobile for the past two seasons. They have tried to continue that momentum with the moves mentioned above. The team looked quite solid during the recent Bahrain test. The team looks to have adjusted to the powerful Mercedes power unit. But, they need to be wary that testing is different from actual race conditions. So, they will need to improve upon whatever weaknesses they observed in the test.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Ricciardo will also need a little time to get used to a different car and invariably power unit. He has never before driven a Mercedes-powered car. So, how he adjusts to that will be an interesting watch throughout the season.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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