Ricciardo plays down Drive to Survive drama with Norris

Sam Cooper
Daniel Ricciardo taps Lando Norris helmet. Monza, September 2021.

McLaren team-mates Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo celebrate after recording a 1-2 finish at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix. Monza, September 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo has played down the supposed drama between himself and team-mate Lando Norris that came about as a result of Drive to Survive.

The latest series of the Netflix show was focused on the 2021 season, the first campaign for Ricciardo at McLaren. While the McLaren-focused episodes were largely about their battle against Ferrari for third place in the Constructors’ Championship, another sub-plot was the supposedly cold relationship between Ricciardo and Norris.

Ricciardo himself knows all too well about being good friends with your team-mate (see his time at Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen) so will have known what he was stepping into at McLaren with the friendship of Norris and Carlos Sainz being split up.

But anticipation was high for two of the funniest drivers on the grid to be teaming up. However, in Drive to Survive the relationship was portrayed as cold and when Ricciardo was struggling to adapt to the McLaren car, Norris was shown to have little sympathy.

This, however, is not as true as it may seem and Ricciardo has stated that he and Norris have a “very good relationship.”

“I felt like a lot of people probably wanted us to be best friends from day one,” Ricciardo told Channel 4.

“And it was something that we couldn’t really force and it did take a bit of time to really create a good relationship.

Daniel Ricciardo smiles at Lando Norris. Brazil, November 2021.
Daniel Ricciardo smiles at his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris as the two take part in press duties. Brazil, November 2021.
“But in saying that, there wasn’t tension or anything, it was just that we were trying to figure each other out.

“Currently where I sit today, I think we have a very good relationship.”

It is not the first time Drive to Survive has been accused of not portraying events exactly as they occur.

Carlos Sainz claimed the show went “too far” in its portrayal of his relationship with Norris while reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has been the most vocal in his criticism.

The Red Bull driver refused to be interviewed for the latest series, a particularly notable absence considering the main story of the season was his title fight with Lewis Hamilton, and he said this was due to the “fake rivalries” on display.

“I understand it needs to be done to boost the popularity [of Formula 1 in America],” the Dutchman told The Associated Press, quoted by Motorsport Week, in the build-up to the 2021 United States Grand Prix.

“But from my side as a driver, I don’t like being part of it.


“They faked a few rivalries which don’t really exist. So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show.

“I’m not really a dramatic show kind of person. I just want facts and real things to happen.”


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