Ricciardo & Norris predict a 'fierce' battle at McLaren

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Both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo expect the teammate battle to be "fierce" at McLaren this season.

The dynamic between the two drivers is interesting as Norris enters his third year in Formula 1 with the Woking-based team, but of course, Ricciardo is set to mark a decade on the grid later this year and has seven wins to his name in that time.

“I don’t think him [Ricciardo] not being with the team [previously] makes any difference,” Norris told Sky Sports recently.

“I don’t want to use his 11 seasons of experience as an excuse to say that’s why he might have beaten me.

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“We’ll see. I think it will be a fierce battle between us. I’m excited about the teammate rivalry we’ll have, which will obviously be a good one," the Briton added, "but he’s still a guy I can learn from.

“That won’t change race results or how we both go racing. We are both still learning every day and improving our driving and that’s what I’m excited for.”

Given both have a reputation for their laid back personalities, some were a little worried the banter could potentially prove a distraction for McLaren.

But Ricciardo has continually insisted the main focus is on the racing and reiterated that point again.

“I think off track for sure, we’ll always be seen to be having a good time,” he said to RacingNews365.

“But I do believe that the competition on track will be will be good, it will be fierce and more importantly, I think driving the team forward.”


Heading into the new season, McLaren has somewhat downplayed the need to lead the midfield for a third straight year, instead, putting the focus on continuing to close the gap to Mercedes.

And that theme of self-improvement was also evident in Norris' 2021 goals.

“I’ve got targets I’m setting myself now, but nothing as a whole objective,” Lando revealed.

“I’m making sure I’m ready in certain areas but in saying which ones I want to improve, I think I’ll wait until pre-season comes along.

“I was much happier with how last year went in terms of my races. There were no outstanding problems, which there were after year one, so I’m happy I improved in those certain areas but there are always little things you want to improve on.”