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"I'm there for business," warns Ricciardo

NEWS STORY
27/01/2021

Daniel Ricciardo makes clear that he has no intention of becoming F1's go-to comedy double-act with Lando Norris, as he warns that he heading to Woking "for business".

Though he can always be relied upon to bring a smile to proceedings, over the years Daniel Ricciardo has proved with his on-track performances that he is no class clown.

On the back of a particularly strong second season at Renault, the French team is going to miss the Australian as much as Red Bull came to.

Partnered with another of the sport's current crop of 'nice guys', Lando Norris, F1 bosses, the media and fans are anticipating non-stop hijinks over the course of the season, as the Woking double-act brings some much needed fun back to the sport.

Not so, insists Ricciardo.

"It's something I want to reiterate to everyone watching, and every fan of McLaren in particular, it's not going to be a comedy show," the Australian told Sky Sports.

"I'm going there for business, I'm going there to improve the car," he added.

"My personality won't change," he assured fans, "I do enjoy doing what I do, but I'm certainly not going there to be this meme power couple or whatever it's described as these days."

Indeed, the Australian's comedic talents are the last thing on McLaren technical boss, James Key's mind as the Woking outfit welcomes the 7-time Grand Prix winner.

"It's great to have Dan on board," he told the F1 Nation podcast, "and having worked with him in the past (at Toro Rosso), I know he'll bring new and different opinions and ways of working to the team, which will be welcome.

"What always impressed me with Daniel is this massive amount of determination he has," he continued, "particularly when he's driving. You can really feel and see that. You listen to his radio messages when he's driving, and he's a very different character to when he's out of the car and relaxed.

"He's incredibly determined when he's racing, and I think that, with his experience and his confidence and what he can do, now that he's a genuine well-established race winner. I think all of that will bring good confidence to the team, and a slightly different kind of aspect to how we see certain things with the car technically as well. He'll bring good knowledge in for that.

"He'll bring a lighter, sort of jovial touch as well in some cases," he added. "He's a great character out of the car as well as in, but he'll bring a great deal of experience and a huge amount of determination."

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1. Posted by kenji, 29/01/2021 0:33

"@ F1Yank...Glad you enjoyed the friendly 'argy bargy'. The world is full of angst ATM and some levity, even if it is sometimes unintentional, serves as a welcome circuit breaker. Regarding Norris, you won't get an argument out of me as i agree with most of your analysis. That said however, I will say this. When a driver like Ricciardo faces the fact that time is of the essence it just serves to further sharpen his will to achieve. He is/was in peak form at the end of last season. The only issue that could hold him back is the car which at the moment is an unknown quantity...but is expected to be competitive. As McLaren have said, this is really a new car and new cars usually have issues. Also there are no 'tokens' left in the piggy bank!!

I am expecting, like McLaren are themselves, that Ricciardo will not take long to acclimatise and when he does he will be 'on it'. When he's on form he's relentless as other drivers have commented and that's why I expect him to best Norris. He's got great form and McLaren know this. That's why they jumped at the opportunity to give him a car. So, let's see where this all leads us..... "

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2. Posted by F1 Yank, 28/01/2021 17:07

"Thanks for the challenge Kenji, and I enjoyed your banter with "El Moderator" on another post about HAM! You guys crack me up! In regards to your question. Although I feel Norris is very young and still green around the ears. He has youth on his side. Generally quicker reflexes, more stamina, probably also a stone lighter in weight. His performance over the last season was pretty good and I was impressed. I didn't see him make any real stupid moves. Riccardo did very well in a chassis that I thought was not as good. Norris definitely did not score as many points as SAI or RIC but if he can get more serious his game will improve tremendously. I call this maturity. Right now it seems as though he is having a lot of fun but that could be his personality. We shall see right?"

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3. Posted by Mudri, 28/01/2021 9:35

"Dan will take the helm and lead with Lando fighting hard.......great combination and track threat with the Merc McLaren"

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4. Posted by Red Baron, 28/01/2021 4:06

"Can't wait to see Dan in the new Mercedes McLaren!

Not that it's of great importance, but I hope that they stick with the papaya and blue colour scheme again this year."

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5. Posted by kenji, 27/01/2021 23:24

"@F1Yank....Your comments are interesting. Given that Norris is already well imbedded into the McLaren team and has at his discretion all the benefits that that implies I'm curious to know where you see how he's going to be faster than Ricciardo? I do expect Daniel to take the first few races to feel comfortable in the car but as Seidl says, this is almost a brand new car, so it will be the same basically for both drivers. Can Norris beat Ricciardo in that case as both will have to adapt? As I said in my earlier post, Norris is fast and now has two seasons under his belt so he's no rookie. He'll be a formidable teammate but I simply can't see how, race for race, that he'll get the better of Ricciardo. It will be fascinating to see how this develops....both drivers are very nice guys but as DR said, 'It's business first and no comedy duo'."

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6. Posted by F1 Yank, 27/01/2021 22:19

"As the two stated below, I hope Daniel does well in 2021. However I believe that Norris will do better! I think this guy is quick and with the Mercedes PU in the back, the McLaren chassis should be very competitive. I for one enjoyed seeing the Alonso/Hamilton/Rosberg, Vettel/Weber conflicts. For those of you who have participated in numerous team building exercises, you are faster overall when you work together. We shall see how the two match up."

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7. Posted by Max Drives Like Grandma, 27/01/2021 16:19

"I really hope Daniel Ricciardo will do well at McLaren, and I am sure that he will do well!

Daniel has a lot of talent and in particular, he's such a nice decent person, and it's genuine too, unlike some people who you know are totally fake!

I genuinely hope that Daniel will at some point win the F1 World Title, not only because he's talented, but because he's a great bloke too!
However, first Daniel must put Lando in his place like what he done to Ocon at Renault last season, otherwise...

Looking forward to some fireworks this year right from the top to the bottom of the grid! "

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8. Posted by kenji, 27/01/2021 13:11

"At 31 years of age Ricciardo is in his prime and driving better than ever. Mc.Laren are a seriously good team and they are now fully financial and staffed with some key F1 personnel. Andreas Seidl has proved to be an excellent choice for TP and he has already taken great steps forward, evidenced by last seasons results. I am impressed with how this team is moving forward and have my fingers crossed that the incorporation of the new Mercedes engine is all that was needed for them to challenge the top two teams. Norris can be very fast as well and he is now about to start his third season. He will be no pushover and hopefully the two of them can amass a tidy haul of points. If only we could start next weekend......"

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