Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo may be mates on and off the track, but where do the McLaren teammate’s interests really lie?
Enjoying the biggest bromance in the paddock with former teammate, Carlos Sainz, would the same larrikin behaviour make the transition over to Ricciardo? The short answer is a big no. While the new teammates at McLaren seem to get along and enjoy some light-hearted banter from time to time, it is in no way the same as it was with Sainz.
One of the main reasons for this, according to Norris, is down to the fact that outside of the track, their interests in life are fairly far apart.
“We get along well, we can laugh together and we’re good friends and all that,” Norris said to Motorsport.com. “But one simple thing is that our interests outside the track are very different. He’s more into making wine and clothes and stuff, while I’m more into golf and E-sports and stuff like that. Carlos was a bit more into that, so we played golf every now and then and on the simulator and raced against each other.”
While fans might not be getting the relationship between the two that they were hoping for, for the most part, it seems they are working harmoniously together at McLaren. Which, at the end of the day, is what really matters.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 4, 2021
One other noticeable change to Norris’ behaviour this year appears to be his more tamed demeanour around the track and during interviews. He still lets out that broad smile of his and will joke around with presenters, however we are now seeing a far more serious side to the 21-year-old.
“I think I’m probably concentrating more than I have – spending more time on the important things, the things I really need to focus on,” Norris continued. “That’s my driving and putting in a performance like I have this year.
“Part of that is focusing on the things you really need to focus on in order to do them better. The key to that is spending more time with my engineers and less time chatting and having fun.”
Norris has become a key piece at McLaren this year, taking on a leadership role within the team that many expected Ricciardo would hold. Not only is he more confident in voicing his opinions regarding balance and setup issues than in previous seasons. He is also capable of guiding the team in development of the car.