Lando Norris has revealed that before coming into 2021 as team-mates, he and Daniel Ricciardo had rarely spoken to each other.
Last season, Norris had a good relationship with his McLaren partner Carlos Sainz, with the pair becoming very popular among Formula 1 supporters for their often comedic videos posted online.
So when it was announced that Ricciardo would be the man to replace Sainz, who left for Ferrari, there was again excitement due to the Aussie’s reputation of being something of a joker.
D Ric and Norris have previously been seen sharing jokes and messing about in press conferences, but the pair were not very close before this season, according to Norris.
As quoted by GPFans, the British driver said: “I guess it’s similar to with Carlos. I probably knew Daniel a little bit more than when I met Carlos entering Formula 1. I never spoke with Carlos once before we met at the MTC.
“With Daniel, I know him slightly more already so it’s slightly different. Things were a little bit further along.
“But days like when we’re in the factory together, doing interviews together, those are the days where you get to learn and get to know a bit more about the guy you are working with.
“We never really spoke that much last year or over the past two years or even during this winter.
“We’ve both been doing our own thing but the last few weeks, getting back to work and working together, it’s probably the most I have spoken to him.”
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 12, 2021
McLaren had a successful season in 2020, finishing the best of the rest in P3, below only Mercedes and Red Bull.
That was their highest finish in the Constructors’ Championship since 2012 and Norris says the Woking-based team are looking to pick up exactly where they left off.
He said: “Starting on the right foot, starting how we ended last year is probably the main target and just coming out of the box strong in 2021.
“I’m going to wait until the pre-season test and race one to set clear targets. I think the main one is to start how I ended the year because I felt I was on a much better foot, I was a lot more confident.
“I was performing well in terms of my driving and how I was working with my engineers, not relying on the other side and just making our own way, working for ourselves.
“That worked very well at the end of last year.”