Norris: ‘Interesting’ Alonso & Sainz Back On Pace While Ricciardo Still Struggling

McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris has said he finds it “interesting” that his team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, is still struggling to get to grips with his new car while other drivers who switched teams are back on the pace.

Ricciardo joined McLaren with high expectations, but he has struggled to adapt to the esoteric McLaren MCL35M.

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“I knew straight away it was a different beast,” Ricciardo said of McLaren’s 2021 car earlier this month.

“I’d be lying if I said the Renault wasn’t a different beast to the Red Bull, so they are all different. But there’s certainly some things where this car is slightly more peculiar. That’s the puzzle that I’m still trying to solve.

“But every car will respond and react differently, and this one’s got a couple of other things, I guess,” the Aussie added.

Commenting on Ricciardo’s difficulties at McLaren, Norris said he expected him to be up to speed by this point of the season.

“I know it’s not easy [for Ricciardo], but I didn’t have an experience like his one, switching cars one time, again and again. So I can’t judge,” Norris said in an interview with Sky Italia.

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“It’s interesting noticing as other drivers like Carlos [Sainz] at Ferrari are already back on the pace, Fernando [Alonso] as well with Alpine.

“I thought Daniel too would have been back on the pace at this time, but he’s not far [off].”

Norris has been in exceptional form this year, with him scoring three podiums and almost taking pole position in Austria.

The 21-year-old is currently third in the Drivers’ Standings on 113 points, while Ricciardo is ninth on 50 points.