Brown: Ricciardo a perfect benchmark for Norris

Jamie Woodhouse
Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris

McLaren CEO Zak Brown thinks whatever time Daniel Ricciardo sets is the fastest a McLaren can go, making him the perfect benchmark for Lando Norris.

Ricciardo will leave Renault when his deal expires at the end of the year and will make the move to McLaren for 2021.

He will partner the team’s star prospect Norris who himself enjoyed a fine debut campaign in the sport in 2019.

And Brown believes Ricciardo will extract every bit of performance from the McLaren, making his times perfect for Norris to aim for.

“We wanted Danny the first time around, before he went to Renault,” Brown told Fox Sports’ Supercars Sidetracked programme.

“I’ve been a Daniel fan for many years. I think he’s awesome on the track, super aggressive, he’s not scared of anyone and he’s got great pace.

“I think he’s a driver capable of winning a world championship in a world championship car. Hopefully we’re not far away from giving him that.

“I don’t think it’s going to be in ’21, because that’ll be a carry-over from this year’s car, but hopefully in ’22 and beyond we’ll continue to step up the grid.

“I think we’ve got two very serious race car drivers on the track, two great characters off the track, two fan favourites, great with sponsors, and they’re at different stages of their careers.

“And I think that will be complimentary.

“I think it will help bring Lando along and give him a benchmark – as we know whatever time Daniel does in a car, that’s as fast as that race car will go.

“So that’s a great comparison for Lando.

“To have a seven-time winner back in a McLaren… we’re a team that’s always had race winners and world champions in our cars.

“So it just feels like on our journey back to the front, Daniel will play a a big role in helping us get there.”

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