Norris on Ricciardo’s issues: ‘That’s life – you adapt to the car’

“I guess I’m surprised because when Daniel came into the team, of course, everyone expected more. I’m sure he expected more from himself. So, when you look at it that way, you are surprised.

“It’s not me having a dig or anything, but when you look at the results, if you want two guys to be at the same level and so on, then in a way, you’re not surprised. It’s just hard to know when to call it, I guess which is what they’ve done.”

Asked if he’d been involved in any discussions about Ricciardo’s future he adds: “It makes no difference to me. It’s not my job, it’s his career, not my career.”

Given how competitive he has been over the past couple of years Norris has watched the situation unfold with some bemusement, sitting in team press briefings while Ricciardo has fielded endless questions about his poor form and explanation of how he couldn’t get on with either the MCL35M or its very different successor. Norris makes it clear that it’s not been easy for him either.

McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris at the 2022 Belgian GP

Ricciardo hasn’t been able to get over the McLaren’s idiosyncrasies


“I think the only thing that people get extremely wrong is any opinion thinking that the car is designed around me, or suiting me more than it is him,” he notes.

“At the beginning of the year, it suited him more than it did for me. If I could choose an exact driving style for me to have, and for a car to suit, then this car doesn’t give me anything of what I want to do. And therefore the job as a driver is to adapt to that, and just do the best you can with that car.

“Which is what I’m doing, and maybe easier for me to do than it is for Daniel, I don’t know if that’s the reason. For every driver it’s just adapting to the car you’ve got in the end of the day.

McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris at the 2022 Belgian GP

Norris has been able to mix it near the sharp end


“And the car I have now is not one which is designed around me in any way, it’s just the one that they can make the quickest as possible in the wind tunnel, and that’s what I got. But that’s life, it’s the same with every team, it’s the same with everyone, that the car is just the quickest car that they can make.

“And then it’s the driver’s job to go out and perform the best they can in that car.”

So do they have different ideas about what they want from the car?