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All Daniel Ricciardo fans across the globe today would be heartbroken. Not only is the affable Honey Badger seriously injured after his bizarre crash during FP2 at the Dutch GP but also he has been ruled out of the weekend completely. Safe to say, with the added context of the past 1-and-a-half-year, today might have been the darkest day in the Formula 1 career of Ricciardo. But his ex-team, McLaren, and ex-teammate, Lando Norris have only decided to make it worse.

Reports have been filtering that Ricciardo has actually broken his wrist. Naturally, after sustaining such horrid injuries, he will not be able to take part in Qualifying tomorrow and the main race on Sunday. The Bulls have hence, decided to give Liam Lawson his F1 debut. That being said, the root cause of this fiasco, at least in Ricciardo’s eyes, will be the man who replaced him at McLaren this year, Oscar Piastri.

Lando Norris sides with Oscar Piastri over Daniel Ricciardo

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During the Free Practice 2 session at Zandvoort, Piastri lost his MCL60 coming out of turn 3 during the approach to the first of the banked corners on the track. As Ricciardo stormed onto the scene, Piastri’s stricken car caught the Honey Badger off guard as he, too, clobbered his AlphaTauri into the wall. But rather than send messages of health and luck to the ailing Ricciardo, Norris chose to harp on the talents of his teammate instead.

He was quoted as saying, “He’ll be alright, he’s done a good job so far…it happens…he’s cool.”

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Despite a woeful afternoon for his teammate and ex-teammate, Norris enjoyed a fruitful session.

Read More: Amid Red Bull’s Growing Interest in Lando Norris, Zak Brown Plays Right Into Helmut Marko’s Masterplan

Norris ready to take over the Orange Army

Shades of orange have been swarming the sights at the Dutch Grand Prix weekend. Safe to say, they aren’t for Lando Norris and his Papaya McLaren. After all, this is the home race for 2x champion, Max Verstappen. But with how the Brit has been going, the fans may have to wave the orange flags in Norris’ wake rather than Verstappen.

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RaceFans.net reported, “Norris was less than half a tenth quicker than Max Verstappen during the second hour of running at the Zandvoort circuit. Verstappen’s effort on softs only good enough for second, two tenths slower than the McLaren. Verstappen improved on his personal best but not by enough to beat Norris’ best, matching the McLaren on a 1’11.3.”

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Can Norris cause a massive upset for the home crowd with a strong performance tomorrow and on race day to deny Max Verstappen a victory at home?

WATCH THIS STORY | How Lando Norris Had a Chance to Go to Red Bull But Instead Chose McLaren

Written by

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a senior F1 writer at EssentiallySports, with over 500 articles published on the platform. Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 while playing on his computer, and he has since then dived deep into the world of motorsports. Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports.
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Edited by

Aishwary Gaonkar