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Ricciardo reveals how Norris compares to Vettel and Verstappen

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted to being “impressed” by the form Lando Norris displayed during their first season as McLaren teammates.

Ricciardo struggled to adapt to life at McLaren and Norris comfortably topped their qualifying (8-3) and race (9-2) head-to-heads at the midway point of the campaign, with Norris also scoring more than double Ricciardo’s points tally.

A breakthrough win in the dramatic Italian Grand Prix – after title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided – sparked an improved second half for Ricciardo, but he still ended the year almost 50 points adrift of Norris.

Ricciardo “impressed” by Norris “pushing the scale”

Asked by RacingNews365.com if he was at all surprised by Norris’ form over the course of the season, Ricciardo acknowledged that he did not know just how far the youngster could “push the scale” before they teamed up.

“In a way I was… I don’t want to say surprised, because there’s 20 of us here out of many in the world who are trying to get here, so I’m always expecting someone very talented, someone fast,” said Ricciardo.

“But I guess the scale, you’re not really sure [about it]. I’ll be honest, probably like most of the world in F1, I think I knew Lando was good, but I didn’t know where the scale went to, and I think he pushed that scale as high as it could probably go last year.

“Again, I don’t know another word for surprise, because I wasn’t surprised. I guess I was impressed – maybe that’s a better word – with his skill, with the level he took the car to.

“That was obviously at times for me difficult, because I was not always there. But it was also encouraging to see that the car could be put to that level. It was for me to then try and figure out [how to improve].”

How does Norris compare to Vettel and Verstappen?

As for how Norris compares to his previous teammates – the likes of four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel and 2021 title winner Verstappen – Ricciardo made some intriguing observations.

“Off the track, everyone’s been pretty different,” Ricciardo went on to comment.

“Vettel just came out of four titles; he was the older guy in the team and I was the rookie.

“He had a very mature approach; it was, ‘This is what I want’, but he did it respectfully. He was kind of as you would expect him to be, with that German efficiency.

“[There are] probably more similarities to Lando and Max. Lando still gets into quite a bit of detail, I would say. Max is probably more off feel; Lando might be a bit more on the technical interpretation.”

Ricciardo then quipped: “I mean, I always see Max leaving the track earlier than us, so that’s kind of what I’m trying to say!”

Check out McLaren’s new F1 challenger, the MCL36, which was presented to the world during a special launch ceremony on Friday.


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