After Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz saw their heart-warming friendship split up at the end of the 2020 season, following the Spaniard’s move to Ferrari, many fans thought that the Brit would soon strike up a similar relationship with his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
The always-smiling Australian brings nothing but positive and happy vibes to Formula 1, hence why many believed that the joker would find it easy to become friends with Norris.
This was not necessarily the case however, as the ten-year age gap saw both drivers have different interests and priorities away from racing, while Ricciardo’s on track struggles did not help the pairs relationship.
Slowly but surely, the pair grew closer and closer, and with Oscar Piastri set to replace the 33-year-old next season, Norris and Ricciardo part ways as close friends on and off the racetrack.
With Norris being a fun-loving individual who seemingly doesn’t take life too seriously, some journalists have suggested that he is slightly reminiscent of a young Daniel Ricciardo, something that the Australian has partially agreed with.
“Definitely [some] elements of it,” said Ricciardo when asked if he sees his younger self in Norris.
“I think that’s ultimately just a young driver coming in and doing well. When you’re young, you feel somewhat invincible in terms of… maybe that’s too dramatic. But you can just do it.
“When I say you can just do it, I’m trying to refer to a night out. At this age now it’s like, ‘That hurts’. But when you’re young, you just go on, you go, you go.
“I’m not putting myself in the position where I’m old. But it’s more when you’re young, you’re just carefree. You’ve got less responsibilities, you’re just in and it’s working.
“So yeah, I see where he’s thrived off that and in that environment.”
Ricciardo’s explosion onto the scene was at a slightly higher level than Norris’, as the Australian was arguably a more reliable car away from winning the championship during his early days with Red Bull, while Norris is yet to win the first race of his F1 career.
While at 33-years-of-age, a title win looks unlikely for Ricciardo, there is a real possibility that if given a competitive car, Norris could challenge for titles, such is his ability and potential at 23.
Red Bull have already held talks with the McLaren driver, with a move to the energy drink giants to replace Sergio Perez in 2025 reportedly on the cards upon the expiration of the Mexican’s contract.