Lando Norris has had a very good start to the 2021 Formula 1 season. The Briton is currently third overall behind the favorite duo for the world championship title, Verstappen, and Hamilton.
His new teammate Daniel Ricciardo has had less luck so far. He has barely managed to match the performance of his young teammate. Norris explains this “advantage” by saying that he has more experience at McLaren and can handle the car better.
Norris can draw a good balance after the first races of the season. A fourth place at the first race in Bahrain and a second podium came at the Imola GP.
The Australian, on the other hand, couldn’t get past eighth place after the first two races. For the Brit, the main difference between him and his teammate at the moment is still experience with the McLaren car.
“Daniel’s the guy with the experience of Formula 1, but I’m the guy with the experience of McLaren. For my third season, there’s a bit more responsibility on me to help and guide the team, in debriefs and away from the track. Last year with Carlos Sainz we could both do that, but now it’s more upon me to lead that side of it, and help out more with the direction we move the car in.”
“I know everyone, and I know how everything works, I know how the car is and how everything runs day-to-day. That makes it easy for me and I’m comfortable with it. It’s good with Daniel. He drives the car differently to how I drive it, and he drives it differently to how Carlos drove it.”
“It’s another thing for me to learn what he does, how he does it. Sometimes that’s good for me, sometimes it’s not. Obviously, he has a lot of experience in F1, working with a lot of different drivers in different teams and he always adds something which I can’t necessarily add.”
Norris also knows that Ferrari is getting closer to the top again and it will be a close battle for the top four teams this year.
“I think it’s very close between a lot of teams now,” said Norris. “We’ve taken a step forward but so have other teams. So, I would say it’s even closer between all of the teams chasing that Mercedes and Red Bull top four, and that’s going to make it an even trickier and more difficult season than last year.”
“The atmosphere in the team is very good,” he added, “and I think we’ll just keep working on ourselves, keep trying to make improvements every single weekend and keep the same work ethic as what we had last year.”