Lando Norris admits he saw flashes of Daniel Ricciardo brilliance

Daniel Ricciardo is taking a sabbatical in 2023, where he'll occupy the role of development driver at Red Bull.

Lando Norris has admitted that he learned a “hell of a lot” from former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who the 23-year-old built a strong relationship with during their two-year stint together.

Ricciardo was, of course, dropped by McLaren at the end of last season, in favour of 2021 F2 World Champion Oscar Piastri, who is dubbed as a future World Champion.

Norris and Ricciardo were a remarkable duo and completely inseparable, with the pair having been fan favourites for their brilliant friendship.

On the circuit, though, it was a slightly different story, with Ricciardo having sat in Norris’ shadow for the entirety of his stay with the Woking-based team.

READ: ‘How do you react to that?’ Guenther Steiner hits out at the FIA

Norris has been sensational the last two years and managed to comfortably out-perform his vastly more experienced team-mate, who is, of course, an eight-time Grand Prix winner.

The British star has admitted to having learnt from Ricciardo, though, despite having regularly been ahead of him when driving, with Norris having taken a lot from the 33-year-old’s “mentality with it all”.

Ricciardo has faced criticism the last two years for underperforming yet was always seen with a traditional beaming smile on his face.

Ricciardo’s ability to work “through the tough times” is something Norris has seemingly taken on board, with the Brit accepting that remaining positive during dark days was something he “struggled a lot” with when he entered the paddock in 2019.

Article continues below

It’s not just Ricciardo’s mentality that Norris has taken inspiration from, with the Quadrant founder having also picked up on what has allowed the Aussie to become an eight-time GP winner.

Norris hailed being team-mates with Ricciardo as an “honour”, with their friendship likely to last for many years to come.

“I’ve been able to learn a hell of a lot from Daniel,” Norris explained in an interview with ESPN.

“His approach to racing, his mentality with it all, through the tough times, how he keeps so strong with it all and has so much belief in himself.

READ: Defiant Sebastian Vettel insists his ‘views won’t be retired’

“That’s something I struggled with a lot with when I came into Formula 1 and something I’ve been able to learn a lot from him over the past couple of years.

“But even on the driving side, how he drives the car in many ways. Like, you can see those instances of what’s made him so good.

“I guess I try to take them on board. It’s not an easy thing to do, but the more I’ve been able to learn from him, the better I’ve become, and that’s only a good thing for me.”