Lando Norris has rubbished suggestions he is playing mind games with Daniel Ricciardo, saying it is the total opposite – he is “mind soothing” his team-mate.
Ricciardo has struggled for form since joining McLaren, even this year’s reset with the all-new cars not helping the Australian get on terms with his team-mate.
It is evident in their results, with Ricciardo having scored just 19 points with Norris on 70.
Their contrasting performances have even led to speculation Ricciardo’s days at McLaren could be numbered – rumours both the driver and his team boss Andreas Seidl have refuted.
But having gone from being a race winner with Red Bull, twice P3 in the Drivers’ standings, to his two years at Renault where he was P5 to struggling at McLaren, it begs the question what has gone wrong.
Norris says it is not coming from his side.
Asked if he was playing mind games with his team-mate, the Briton replied, quoted by GPFans: “In what way? What mind games can I play? No, it’s the opposite. I’m trying to help him as much as I can.
“It’s for the benefit of us as a team to try to beat Alpine, at the end of the day.
“He sees everything I see in terms of data and everything. I’m offering more help than I normally would, let’s say.
“If you were fighting for a world championship, I’m saying more things than I would do just because that’s what we need for the team. That’s what I want for the team at the minute.
“No, it’s the opposite of mind games, whatever that is – mind soothing.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 29, 2022
The 22-year-old has previously spoken about his relationship with his team-mate, saying it was a give-and-take situation as he too was learning from Ricciardo.
Although he concedes no driver ever wants to have to rely on another, he says the two are always open to answering each other’s questions.
“It’s not something you ever want to do, ask someone else a question,” Norris explained.
“We help each other as much as we can. There are still a lot of things he does well that I still learn from him and use from him from my side, for my driving and set-up and things like that.
“But I’m happy if he has questions to ask me or he wants to know how I feel in the car and so on.
“There’s no harm in it. We help each other as much as we can. I offer my help, I offer my advice or feeling in any way.
“If he wants to ask me more questions, I’m also welcome to take those.”
Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix
The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before Formula 1's summer break.