Daniel Ricciardo makes ‘sore loser’ admission while rating Lando Norris

Daniel Ricciardo has praised Lando Norris' performances for McLaren but outlines key reasons for their difference in pace.

McLaren teammates Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo have had their flashpoints with Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ highlighting the difference in attitude and performance from the pair during the 2021 season.

Whilst Ricciardo has had his highs while at McLaren, most notably the win last season in Monza, he has also had his fair share of lows, such as being lapped by his teammate in Monaco.

Since joining the team in 2021, the Australian has been outscored by Norris by an astonishing 117 points despite many pundits understandably expecting the once title contending driver to outperform a teammate 11 years younger than himself.

Despite being the first McLaren driver to secure a victory since Jenson Button in Brazil 2012, Ricciardo will be parting ways with the Papaya coloured team a year early to be replaced by his 21-year-old compatriot Oscar Piastri for the 2023 season, with McLaren taking the decision to terminate his contract.

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When speaking to ‘The Race’, Ricciardo outlined the reasons why he believes Norris has got the better of him over the past two seasons.

“I’ll never take credit away from him – the kid’s good. There’s no denying that. And if I say he’s not, I’m just being a bitter, sore loser,” he said.

“The kid’s good. That’s obviously one element – he can steer.

“But it’s the only F1 car he’s driven. Obviously, there have been some variations of the McLaren. But he hasn’t driven for another team. So in a way he has got, I’m sure, used to some of the elements of this car,” discussed the Australian veteran.

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The 2022 McLaren has been commonly known as one of the more difficult cars on the grid to drive, with its technical aspects catering to a very specific driving style.

The 33-year old suggests that this might have played a part in the gulf in performance between himself and Norris, labelling his teammate’s ‘ignorance’ when it comes to driving other cars as a benefit.

“There’s probably a bit of that, where I’ve obviously got some – I hate this word, but I’ve just got to use it for a lack of better words right now – expectation of maybe what a Formula 1 car can do or should do or where some potential lies,” explained Ricciardo, potentially in reference to his time driving a championship challenging Red Bull earlier in his career.

“Ignorance is bliss. And I’m not saying he’s got no knowledge of race cars, not at all. I think he’s actually in tune with what he does, from a technical point of view.

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“He does now, because he watches inboard, and he sees what other driver can do – ‘yeah, I wish we could do that, the rear doesn’t do what I want’.

“But ultimately, he hasn’t been behind the wheel of another car. So obviously, he’s good. And there’s and element of ‘ignorance is bliss.”

A favourite amongst F1 fans worldwide and a driver with undoubted talent, the Formula 1 world hopes the Australian returns to the grid in the future with it looking unlikely that he will take one of the remaining 2023 seats at Haas or Williams.