Before the 2021 season, many fans believed that the relationship between Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo could shape F1. But that has not really been the case yet. Johnny Herbert said that it is the Englishman’s right not to be friends with Ricciardo.

He also likes the fact that he approaches the relationship with a “tough-as-nails” attitude.

Norris is considered one of the most popular F1 drivers and has built up a status as a “nice guy” in recent years. His friendship with his ex-teammate Carlos Sainz brought a “breath of fresh air” to the premier class and earned them third place in the constructors.

His new teammate Daniel Ricciardo is also one of these “nice guys” and is considered very funny. Therefore, many fans believed that this relationship will be worth watching. However, there has not been much of that so far, and the relationship with each other looks tense. According to Herbert, that is good, because it means he has proven his authority over the ex-Renault driver, as Norris has scored 113 of the team’s 163 points so far this year. The Australian, on the other hand, continues to struggle to adapt to the car.

“Lando Norris is my choice for the driver of the first half-season in Formula 1 this year.

“There is a wonderful maturity starting to appear in him, a maturity we didn’t see in the past couple of years when he was teamed with Carlos Sainz at McLaren.

“Now he is with Daniel Ricciardo there’s been a mental change because they are not friends. Lando doesn’t want to be a friend and that’s the right attitude to have. You have to be cut-throat at some point.

“Lando was so friendly, bubbly, and chatty when he first came into F1 and he still is. But has something now that wasn’t there before.”

Besides the mental aspect, Herbert was also surprised by the performance on the track. The Englishman currently has three podiums to his name and has fought several times for pole position.

“He’s delivering the goods consistently. He’s up against Daniel and yet it’s Lando who is getting the best from the car and in the first half of the season, there has been a massive shift for everyone to see.

“Lewis Hamilton was full of praise for him after Austria and when you hear that from your fellow drivers, especially a seven-time World Champion, you take it on board and feel good about yourself.

“You relax, knowing your performance is there and you stop having to think about it. When he’s battling with the likes of Lewis, he shows good racing skills.”

I'm from Austria and I'm a motosport-fan for more than 10 years. I want to be a journalist after I finish school. I am currently working for ASN Motorsports