Norris is happy to help struggling Ricciardo

Sam Cooper
McLaren pair Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Baku June 2022.

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo sit down during a joint interview. Azerbaijan June 2022.

Lando Norris has said he is happy to answer any questions team-mate Daniel Ricciardo may have about the McLaren car as the Australian looks to rediscover his form.

After 10 races, Ricciardo has finished within the points just two times, the last time he made it to this stage of the season without finishing in the points two or more times came in his first full campaign in the sport in 2012.

Earlier in the year, rumours began to swirl that he could be heading for an early exit for McLaren but a small upturn in form put bed to that speculation for the time being at least.

But again in Silverstone, Ricciardo struggled, finishing outside the points once more in P13 and he was left mystified at his “odd” lack of pace.

Ever since he joined the team, the 33-year-old has struggled to get to grips with the MCL36 while his team-mate Norris has continued to put in good performances.

Speaking ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Norris said he would be happy to answer any questions Ricciardo may have but did recognise that it was a situation no driver wanted to find themselves in.

“It’s not something you ever want to do, is ask someone else a question,” Norris said, as reported by GPFans.

“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.”

Norris did admit that not always do his feelings translate to Ricciardo’s and said that the two have different styles when it comes to driving.

“I don’t mind as much instability from the car, I can push on the fronts more. He prefers one a bit more stable and maybe with a little bit more understeer in a way.

“It’s not as easy as saying I do this [so you] do that, and vice versa, him saying what he does and me doing exactly that.

“I can understand on some points because I do feel our car is a difficult car to drive.

“Our characteristics over the past few years – even Carlos [Sainz] said it – they’re quite specific and unique.

“Some of the driving styles you need are not ones you grow up learning and therefore you have to adapt quite a bit.

“Last year, I would say we had more of that, and then it’s not an easy thing to do to adapt to that.

“Like holding the brake in certain corners, and you feel like you don’t want to hold the brake in, and doing the opposite in other corners. It’s not like an obvious thing in how to drive the car in every corner.”

Norris has also endured a more difficult season than he did in 2021 and said that at the start of the campaign, he struggled and felt like he “had to adapt quite a bit.”

“It’s the same for me, especially this year the car is very different, and some of the characteristics we had last year are gone and we’ve introduced other characteristics, and I’ve had to change my driving style.

“So at the same time, I’ve also had to adapt to it. It’s not just because I’ve been with McLaren for four years that I know this car inside out.

“At the beginning of the season, I struggled with my driving style a little bit more than Daniel did initially in the first few tests and I felt like I had to adapt quite a bit.

“I understand certain parts of it but at the same time I focus on myself, and that’s all.

“As much as I’m willing to help and offer advice and answer questions, it’s not like I go out there only to try and do that.

“I still have to focus on my own race, to try to finish sixth and get the good points, and things like that.

“It’s a balance, so certain bits I do understand and other bits not so much.”