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Norris denies rift with Ricciardo

NEWS STORY
02/09/2022

Lando Norris has dismissed speculation that a rift has developed between him and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

The first signs that all might not be well between the pair followed last month's confirmation by McLaren that the Australian was being dropped just two years into his contract.

Asked about the situation at the time, Norris admitted to having a lack of sympathy for his teammate's plight.

"It's not me having a dig or anything but when you look at the results," he said, "if you want two people to be at the same level then you're not surprised.

"It's hard to know when to call it, I guess, which is what they done.," he said of his team's decision. "People will probably hate me for saying it but it's difficult because I never know if I might encounter that in the future with this car or with a different team or whatever, so I never want to contradict myself going into the future, but I've just got to focus on my driving."

At the same time, it was pointed out that there was little interaction between the pair on social media, whereas Norris enjoys a strong relationship with former teammate Carlos Sainz.

"I want to be friends with as many people as possible, similar to how I am now with Daniel," the Briton told reporters at Zandvoort. "We get on really well. For some reason people think otherwise, but this is completely untrue. We have a lot of fun together, we spend a lot of time together. But just things are different, probably because he's a bit older and he's into different things.

"He's not into playing golf and so on," he added. "So therefore, you don't see it as much on social media and whatever. But I think our friendship is good and the respect we have for each other, and I'm pretty sure that will continue into the future."

Asked about his relationship with Sainz, Norris said: "We're just good friends away from the track. I guess we just have a lot of respect for each other.

"It was nice coming into Formula 1 with a team-mate that was helpful," he continued. "He helped me learn many things and get in the rhythm of Formula 1 and that's something that stays with you for a long time.

"But I think it's just clear that we have a lot of respect for each other, you know, and I supported him on his adventure with Ferrari and when things changed and I think he supports me in a similar way. So I think so. It's always difficult to know, to know exactly what's going to happen in the future. But yeah, I think when we're on track, there's still nothing more than we want to beat each other and to prove who wants to be a better driver. But things like this just make it enjoyable."

"If anything, I feel like my relationship with Lando has improved after we stopped being teammates, because everything is just a bit easier," added the Spaniard. "We had a lot of fun as team-mates. We were getting on very well but you're still team-mates and you're sharing the same car and you want to beat each other.

"But since I left McLaren it's like we can openly speak more about racing and feelings, you know, and we don't have that team-mate thing in front of us.

"He's a great guy. I just enjoy a lot his company and we're talking about whether we should have dinner for my birthday or not. It's just good times. I'm a bit like him. It's like, if you can be friends with someone, why not. It's not like because we are Formula 1 rivals we cannot get on well, and lots of respect and good vibes moving forward."

Asked to explain his "teammate thing" comment, Sainz said: "The typical thing, that you want to beat each other and you're sharing the same car and you want to get on well, but then you know that on Sunday morning you want to really beat him.

"I think it happens to everyone across the grid and it's a natural thing in this sport, and yeah, maybe separating our paths made it even easier."

Check out our Friday gallery from Zandvoort here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 02/09/2022 14:27

"I think Lando is a bit too earnest sometimes and expresses himself poorly.... he comes across like one of my teenage kids, if I remember his last comments he was asked if he had sympathy and he started explaining why he wasn't coaching Daniel.... just made me laugh... next he'll be explaining why he hasn't tidied his bedroom yet and how it's not his fault anyway :-)"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 02/09/2022 14:04

"Sounds more like a damage limitation and repair job"

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3. Posted by GordonG47, 02/09/2022 12:57

"Bet 'Drive to Survive' doesn't spin it that way..."

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