The McLaren pairing for 2021 was set to be the most exciting off-track one. Things have not met these expectations mid-way into 2021, and Lando Norris has explained why.
Daniel Ricciardo has been named the funniest guy in the paddock and Norris is said to be the next in line for that position by all the drivers. So, it was fair for the fans to assume that this pairing would bring forward joyous memories for us and the team. Unfortunately, through the season we have not seen the informality between the two as we saw with Carlos Sainz Jr and Norris.
Norris was questioned about his relationship with Ricciardo, and the limitations he felt are preventing the duo from being the funny couple that the paddock expected.
“We still get on well, we still have good laughs and we’re still good mates and everything. I’m probably focusing a lot more on myself than I have done. Spending more time focusing on the important things, the things I really need to focus on, which are my driving and having a performance like I have this year.
“And a bit of that is focusing on things you really need to focus on in order to do a better job and spending time with my engineers, and less time chatting and having fun and things like that.
“But I’m not taking anything away from my enjoyment of Formula 1, I still love it and do everything I want to do, but just a bigger shift towards the focus on the work ethic side. So [that] definitely has an effect, but I can’t tell you how much.”
Norris credits his relationship with Sainz to their mutual interests off-track and feels that there are very few interests shared in common with his 2021 teammate, Ricciardo.
“But one simple thing is our interests away from the circuit are very different. He’s more into his making wines and in clothing and things, and I’m more into golf and eSports and those kinds of things which Carlos was a little bit more into, so we’d play golf every now and then and we’d play on the sim and race each other and do things like that.
“So one simple thing of becoming better mates is I guess spending time together and enjoying yourselves and stuff, and playing golf was one of those things which made a lot of things better.”