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Lando Norris isn’t just mastering the track; he’s also leading the charge at McLaren. This has been evident at the Red Bull Ring, a favored stage for McLaren & Lando, where the Briton has shown two awesome one-lap performances this weekend. Following Daniel Ricciardo‘s departure in 2022, Norris has stepped up becoming the fulcrum of the team’s ambitions. McLaren filled Ricciardo’s absence with another Australian, Oscar Piastri, who’s already impressing on the circuit. Norris admits Piastri’s performance is giving him a run for his money, but this only ignites his competitive fire.

According to Motorsport-Total, Norris stated the Woking team’s status in terms of competitiveness. He said, “I’ll wait for the other races where we have bigger problems to see how we’ve developed the car for those specific races.” embodying his pragmatic mindset. But it’s not just the car’s aerodynamics and tire strategy that Norris is concerned with; he’s the man with the challenging task of handling the high-octane ego-fuelled environment in McLaren.

 

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Lando added, “I’m always the guy who slows everyone down a bit on the team. Everyone gets a little c**ky sometimes, which is perfectly fine. But usually, I’m the guy who catches them and downplays everything a bit.” [translated via Google] His role is pivotal in balancing the team’s morale, ensuring that the dizzying heights of success don’t lead to a precipitous fall.

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It’s clear that Norris has taken the wheel at McLaren, both on and off the track. His leadership and understanding of team dynamics are as crucial as a perfectly timed pit stop. Now, let’s shift gears and dive into how he is preparing McLaren for the races yet to come.

Behind the Wheel: Lando Norris’ Emotional Tribute to Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Battle for Redemption

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In a recent candid exchange, Norris shared a heartfelt expression of his feelings towards his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo, revealing the depth of their off-track camaraderie. When Ricciardo transitioned from Renault (now Alpine) to McLaren in 2021, his gregarious personality and budding rapport with Norris sparked excitement among fans, also promising the advent of a new bromance in the sport to succeed the well-loved pairing of Norris and Carlos Sainz.

via Reuters

Despite instances of apparent discord between the two, highlighted in Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ and Norris’s seemingly unsympathetic comments about Ricciardo’s performance struggles, Norris’s recent sentiments shed light on the true nature of their relationship. The young Brit spoke fondly of Ricciardo, describing him as his “inspiration for smiling,” and lamented his absence. Norris’s heartfelt words were met with a resounding cheer from fans, a testament to the popularity of their bromance.

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While relishing his moments with Ricciardo, Norris is concurrently grappling with a longstanding issue within his team. The McLaren driver has been contending with a persistent problem with the MCL60 car, which has been plaguing the team for five years. But the recent upgrade package could be the lifeline McLaren is looking for.

Despite the obstacles, Norris expressed optimism about the team’s efforts to resolve their issues. The team has swiftly implemented upgrades in preparation for the Austrian Grand Prix, and Norris is hopeful that these changes may be the catalyst McLaren needs to break free from the midfield and rejoin the fight for glory.

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Written by

Pulkit Jai

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Pulkit is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a strong academic background in engineering, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the intricate mechanics and technology driving Formula 1 racing. This expertise allows him to offer insightful analysis, exploring the technical aspects of the sport and shedding light on the innovative advancements that shape the world of F1.
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Edited by

Aishwary Gaonkar