The 2021 season, even before this officially started, had presented several innovations regarding the drivers market: among these, one of the most interesting was that inherent to the passage of Daniel Ricciardo from Renault – today Alpine – to McLaren, with the Australian chosen to replace the absence of Carlos Sainz, who in turn moved to Ferrari. A transfer, that of the smiling driver of Italian origins, which earned the British team the first victory after nine years of absence from the top step of the podium, celebrated with a ‘shoey’ at the end of an Italian Grand Prix enriched by from the double made possible with the 2nd place of Lando Norris. Except for this historic success, however, the rest of the championship saw the British driver almost always ahead of his former Red Bull teammate.
In this regard, Ricciardo remarked that he did not particularly suffer from this internal competition, thus explaining the relationship between him and Norris limited to the experience and the respective driving qualities: “We have definitely learned from each other this year – commented – even when he was faster than me, he still learned a few things from me. I don’t mean it’s a 50-50, but I probably got more from him from a driving point of view. If this were his first year in F1, and he took the plunge and managed to do what he is doing, then my pride would be a little hurt. Of course I recognize that I’ve been in the sport much longer, but he’s been on this team longer, and he knows how to give feedback while being understood. I was immediately aware – he added – that here Lando is more experienced even just in the way he interacts with the engineers, getting to know the boys better. So, I just need to listen to what he says and try to figure out what’s in the car. My pride is safe, but if it was a rookie who did this then I would probably be a little sadder“.
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