Lando Norris Cruelly Shuts Down Daniel Ricciardo’s Ambitions Only to Show Brotherly Concern Moments Later

Published 10/30/2023, 4:49 AM EDT

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Daniel Ricciardo was all smiles after delivering a mega result for AlphaTauri at the Mexican GP. What was only his second outing back after a horrific crash at the Zandvoort circuit caused an injury to his metacarpal bone, Ricciardo managed to lift the Faenza outfit two places on the constructor’s standings to P8, a fierce four-team battle. On the other hand, his ex-teammate, Lando Norris, also came alive during the second half of the race. After an unfortunate exit in qualifying caused by Fernando Alonso‘s shenanigans in Q1, Norris powered through the field from 17th to a solid P5 finish!

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It looks like it’s not just the fans who missed the chemistry between Norris and the Honey Badger! The McLaren man himself had an exhilarating duel with Ricciardo, where friendly blows were shared. And you better believe Lando Norris enjoyed every second of that battle, satisfied with the mega-recovery after Saturday’s mishap.

‘What a bummer’ Daniel Ricciardo reflects on Lando Norris stealing his thunder at the Mexican GP

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The move on the King of late braking left Norris thoroughly satisfied, and the pair reflected on their battle on track when Ricciardo joined Norris during his post-race interview. The Honey Badger had some inquiries of his own, saying, “I actually want to ask him (Lando) a few questions. I feel like probably before the red we were looking even better. Did you have really good pace before the red, or?”

To which Norris agreed, prompting Ricciardo to ask, “Like, do you think you would have caught me?” – the Brit barely had the time to reply when the Honey Badger chimed in, “No! Okay, so I could have got fifth! There you go. What a bummer.” When Ricciardo paused, Norris delivered the ultimate comeback, “If I qualified well yesterday I would be on the podium, so.” But the Honey Badger’s wits know no end, prompting him to snarkily reply, “Yeah what happened yesterday? No, we’ll talk about that later.”

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The qualifying on Saturday was one Norris intended to forget, as everything went wrong for the Brit. After a poor hot lap, the pressure was on for Norris to deliver a mega lap that would take him into the top ten. The MCL60 had the pace! Unfortunately, the Brit found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which meant that he would start the race down in 17th! Nonetheless, Norris seems to have gotten over the psyche battle within himself after Piastri’s performances. He was on fire the entire race, setting up overtakes like it was nothing!

While the fans enjoyed the friendly battle between the former Mclaren teammates, there was one man who wished he was on track instead of watching the battle unfold from the pits.

The Prodigal Son’s return spells disaster for the Hometown Hero

While Norris won the banter some exchange with Ricciardo both on and off track, he showed some concern for the Australian, “The car looked like it was on rails today, was your hand alright in being able to carry so much minimum speed everywhere?” – this prompted the pair to burst into laughter at the visual of Ricciardo’s pinky finger poking out of the steering on the onboard cameras. Regaining his composure, the Australian shared, It’s pretty tough, I can’t close it properly, so when I turn right, you can see (on the onboard camera) my pinky still, like a little”. 

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Ricciardo’s feat on Sunday did not go unnoticed, even with his ex-teammate. Even after having such an injury, the Australian bagged some much-needed points for the Faenza outfit. While the Mexican GP was the stuff of dreams for Daniel Ricciardo, it was the exact opposite for Sergio Perez. His purpose going into the race was clear to all – showing the bosses at Red Bull that he’s still got it. Unfortunately, it all came undone when Perez made a risky dive into turn 1, sandwiching a helpless Charles Leclerc between him and Verstappen.

Whilst the Mexican fans surely appreciate his sentiments, it reflects poorly on Perez that he essentially buckled under pressure yet again. And it’s almost as if Daniel Ricciardo saw the chink in his armour and decided to have a mega race, winning the hearts of Formula 1 fans all over again, including Christian Horner and Helmut Marko. It’s safe to say the Honey Badger’s entire agenda at the Mexican GP was to show Red Bull that he’s back, and he’s here to stay.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Will Daniel Ricciardo Get Swapped in for Sergio Perez at Red Bull?

It’s safe to say that Perez can’t catch a break, and his homecoming disaster could be a sign of what lies ahead if Daniel Ricciardo continues these performances. The risks are starting to become too costly for Helmut Marko and Christian Horner, and it’s only a matter of time before their patience runs out for Sergio Perez in favor of the Prodigal Son. 

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Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

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Kabir Bajaj Ahmed is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. As a child, it was the Top Gear Ayrton Senna tribute that drew him into the world of motorsports. While obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, his passion for motorsport grew.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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