LANDO NORRIS said his relationship with teammate Daniel Ricciardo was “very different” to the one he shared with former McClaren partner Carlos Sainz
Lando Norris and George Russell get the Highway Code quiz wrong
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Lando Norris has warned that his car may have a key weakness going into this weekend’s race in Austria. Speaking earlier this week, he said: “We still have a slight weakness, let’s say. And it’s not just the wing, there are various other things which count towards drag on the car. So it definitely helps. But you also have a lot of high-speed corners here. “So similar to Silverstone, which obviously was a decent weekend for us in terms of pace, with no upgrades.
“What we had in Silverstone was something very small. It wasn’t like something which really gained us more than probably a tenth, in a way.
“Hopefully the car can work in a similar way, that we’re decent in high-speed, we’re reasonable in the straights, and therefore we can just be that good middle ground, and the car just works well.
“So not any strengths, I would say, compared to previous years, but we’re just almost there-ish on a lot of areas.”
After a sensational season last year, McLaren have struggled to match its past performances.
This has led some to suspect a slight disharmony within the teams’ setup.
Iin January, Norris opened up on his relationship with teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Lando Norris news: Norris and Ricciardo drive for McLaren (Image: getty)
The Briton contrasted it to his rapport with former teammate Carlos Sainz, with whom he shared something of a bromance.
Norris told Motorsport.com: “One thing is simple, our off-track interests are very different: he’s more into wine, clothes and stuff, whereas I’m more into golf, eSports and that sort of thing that Carlos was into as well.
“[With Sainz] I played golf from time to time, we competed on the simulator and stuff like that. To have a closer relationship, one thing is clear, and that is that you need to spend time together and have fun, and golf is one of those things that made everything better.”
Ricciardo languished in 13th at last week’s British Grand Prix, another indication that he is struggling at McLaren.
While he managed to win a race last season at Monza last year, his time in papaya orange has been a mostly underwhelming experience.
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Lando Norris news: Norris has bested Ricciardo (Image: getty)
The Australian driver has remained adamant that he will see out his contract, which ends in 2023.
However, McLaren have indicated that Ricciardo’s performances could see him leave before his contract is up.
CEO Zak Brown said this week: “There are mechanisms in which we’re committed to each other and then there’re mechanisms in which we’re not.”
He previously told Sky Sports F1 that Ricciardo had not hit expectations at McLaren.
Brown continued: “I’ve spoken with Daniel about it, we’re not getting the results that we both hoped for. But we’re both going to continue to push.
“He showed at Monza [2021 Italian GP] he can win races. We also need to continue to develop our car, it’s not capable of winning races, but we’d like to see him further up the grid.
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Lando Norris news: Zak Brown hinted Ricciardo could leave (Image: getty )
Lando Norris news: Brundle thinks Ricciardo won’t be in a McLaren next season (Image: getty)
“We’ll just play it… I don’t want to say ‘one race at a time’ because we’re not going to one race at a time – but we’ll just see how things develop.”
Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle has predicted that Ricciardo won’t be driving a McLaren next year.
Writing a column for their website, Brundle said “the tension and frustration there is now becoming public”.
He added: “The rumours and also the voices within the team are getting louder and louder. He’s just too far behind his team-mate.”
“He has to start turning it around now because if it stays the way it is now, I don’t see him driving at McLaren next year.”