Lando Norris hits back at Daniel Ricciardo claim

Lando Norris will be the older driver at McLaren for the first time in 2023, as he partners rookie Oscar Piastri.

Daniel Ricciardo struggled since his move to McLaren in 2021, despite picking up the team’s only win in that period.

He was eclipsed in term of points scored by his teammate Lando Norris last season, being beaten by a massive 85 points, and despite team principal Andreas Seidl admitting it was difficult to say goodbye to the Australian, Ricciardo will be replaced by Oscar Piastri for 2023.

The McLaren is a car that caters to a very specific driving style, which might explain the 33-year-old’s struggles, however Ricciardo has also suggested that the car was developed to suit Norris over the course of the 2022 season, rather than it being split.

Norris, who shares a strong bond with Ricciardo, has been quick to deny these claims, suggesting that McLaren have always upgraded their car to suit the needs of both drivers.

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“It has not been designed or manufactured in one way to suit me more than Daniel. That’s a fact,” stated Norris when asked about Ricciardo’s claims about the MCL36.

“Other than a pink button on my steering wheel, that is the only thing. I think it is the recharge, one to stay away from. That is literally it.

“It is a car that has obviously had input from me because of my comments over the last few years but they have not designed and manufactured it to suit me by any means.”

The 23-year-old has been tipped to jump ship from McLaren in the hunt for a title contending car, however Norris has reinforced his trust and faith in his team to climb the standings under the new regulations.

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McLaren boast state of the art facilities, including a new wind tunnel that is set to be available for use next year, meaning that the team will have all the resources to compete with the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes in the coming seasons.

Ricciardo meanwhile will have to watch the 2023 season from the paddock, as he is set to serve as Red Bull’s third driver while he waits for a race seat opportunity to open up in the next couple of years.

The Australian’s talent is not up for debate, as the eight-time race winner is clearly capable of achieving great things in Formula 1, however Ricciardo have never managed to find somewhere that he is happy and can compete to the best of his ability since his departure from Red Bull.