Ricciardo or Sainz: Lando Norris Picks His Shocking Choice of McLaren F1 Teammate

Published 09/14/2021, 9:13 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 2, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during the FIA Press Conference Pool via REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic


Daniel Ricciardo, one of the most interesting drivers on the current F1 grid, carved his way into McLaren ahead of this year. And the fact that the Australian was going to pair up alongside the rather cheeky Lando Norris hinted that the combination could pan out to be the best one yet.

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However, to everyone’s surprise, Norris is still maintaining his bromance with his former teammate, Carlos Sainz. Although the duo delivered some incredible wheel-to-wheel battles through 2019 and 2020, they still remain inseparable.

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And to top that, Norris and Sainz even spent the latter’s birthday together golfing, earlier on September 1. Amidst all of that, Norris made a shocking revelation regarding his teammates during an interview.

What did Lando Norris say?

During an interview with Dutch media, Ziggo Sport, Norris revealed his choice of preference between his two teammates. And, naturally, one would assume that Norris’ obvious choice would have landed on his initial McLaren teammate, Sainz.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Lando Norris celebrate after finishing first and second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

But, here’s the twist. No! Sainz wasn’t his preference. Instead, Norris called out the name “Daniel.” It was undeniably a tough decision for Norris to make, and his reaction said it all. He was biting his teeth hard after choosing Ricciardo over his close colleague, Sainz.

But, has he made the right decision? Well, Sainz may have defeated Norris over both the seasons they spent together as teammates. But with Ricciardo, it’s an entirely different story.

Why Norris picked Daniel Ricciardo

From an off-track perspective, Norris would have definitely chosen Sainz over his present teammate. However, it is evident that the Briton has improved a lot since he paired up alongside the Honey Badger.

Ever since McLaren announced the arrival of Ricciardo, the entire F1 community witnessed a different version of Norris. He has been more focused than ever on the track, and his performances consequently have grown up a notch.

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Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 23, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with second placed Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and third placed McLaren’s Lando Norris Pool via REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Such is the kind of impact Ricciardo has made on Norris. And the Australian is still pushing his young British teammate to the extreme.

After enduring a slow start to the season, Ricciardo is slowly creeping his way back to form, delivering strong results since the Belgian Grand Prix; the latest race at Monza witnessed Ricciardo claim his first Grand Prix victory in years.

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So, with Norris having the best season of his life and Ricciardo starting to have his, which of the two is ultimately going to finish at the top?

Watch Story: When F1 Drivers Had a Blast on Top Gear Featuring Hamilton, Vettel & Ricciardo

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Rohit Kumar

1143 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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