F1 2021 News: Daniel Ricciardo, Testing, Lando Norris, driver line-up, McLaren, homework


Daniel Ricciardo is set to be put under an intense pre-season with McLaren giving their star recruit “homework” to make sure he has a fast start to life at his new team.

While typically drivers are given time to get familiar with their surroundings, testing has been reduced to three days in 2021.

As such, McLaren have a key objective to make the most of the pre-season time with Ricciardo, setting a clear goal for the Aussie superstar.

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Daniel Ricciardo has joined McLaren. (Photo by Mark Sutton – Pool/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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#News #Daniel #Ricciardo #Testing #Lando #Norris #driver #lineup #McLaren #homework



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F1 2021, drive line-up: Daniel Ricciardo to McLaren, Renault, Photo shoot, Smile, Lando Norris


Daniel Ricciardo has swapped his Renault polo for a McLaren one and now it is photo time.

A smiley Ricciardo was snapped in his new team colours for the first time as he lines up alongside Lando Norris.

The two will form one of the most exciting driver line-ups of the Formula 1 next season and with plenty of reasons for optimism, it is no surprise Ricciardo is grinning.

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F1 news 2020: Lando Norris, marshal on track, McLaren, Romain Grosjean, Lance Stroll


The Bahrain Grand Prix will long be remembered for Romain Grosjean’s terrifying fireball crash on the opening lap.

Grosjean’s Haas was ripped into two and incinerated after he thundered into the railing at turn three at speeds of roughly 220km/h.

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The race was immediately red flagged as crews worked to contain the flames and remove what was left of Grosjean’s car.

As soon as the race was restarted, not even one lap in and another incident brought out the flags from marshals.



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Daniel Ricciardo new relationship, Lando Norris, McLaren, quitting Renault


McLaren’s performance in 2021 will hinge on how well Daniel Ricciardo gels with new teammate Lando Norris, the Aussie’s new boss hoping a strong working relationship between the pair will lead to a productive season.

Teammates in F1 are often each other’s biggest rivals but McLaren racing director Andrea Stella wants Ricciardo and Norris to work together and share their “box of secrets” to maximise the chances of team success.

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McLaren was third in this year’s constructors’ championship behind Red Bull and champions Mercedes and will face a tough fight to maintain its status as the midfield leader — or better, in the case of beating Ferrari.

Ricciardo and Norris get on extremely well and have been responsible for some hilarious interactions off the track but whether that relationship continues to run smoothly when they’re both fighting for points in the same car remains to be seen.

Ricciardo is leaving Renault after two years to join McLaren in 2021 and Stella is hoping for the perfect double act — one which builds on the foundations that allowed Norris and departing McLaren star Carlos Sainz to function so well during their time together.

“Carlos and Lando have been excellent this year,” Stella said in a Q&A on the McLaren website. “The level of collaboration between the two of them has been incredibly high.

“It’s one of the reasons they are so evenly matched on track. When there is an open and transparent dialogue between teammates, it elevates their performance because they can crosscheck with each other and quickly identify the weak points of the car or find the best approach to a corner.

“This has been possible due to the personal qualities of Carlos and Lando, and, I hope, the environment we have built within the team which encourages openness and trust.

“It means the drivers feel comfortable opening their box of secrets, rather than keeping that box closed so as not to give away any advantage to their teammate.”

Are you taking notes, Dan?

“The most important thing from my point of view is that we preserve the conditions that we created to allow that high level of collaboration between Carlos and Lando,” Stella said of Ricciardo’s arrival.

“But it’s not just about preserving those conditions, we may have to adapt them. Daniel is not Carlos and his relationship with Lando will be different. It may be similar, but it will not be the same and we need to be mindful of that and adapt with a view to maintain the standards.”

McLaren technical director James Key has worked with Ricciardo in the past at Toro Rosso and is confident the West Australian will be a valuable addition to the team.

“He arrives as a proven race winner and is someone who can go toe to toe with the very best drivers,” Key said.

“Daniel is very easy to get on with, but he’s hugely determined and that has a positive effect on any team.

“He will be a great reference point for us and, together with Lando, we will have one of the strongest driver pairings in the paddock.”

Ricciardo finished fifth in this year’s drivers’ standings, one spot ahead of Sainz, who is joining Ferrari in 2021 in place of Sebastian Vettel. Norris was ninth.



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F1 news 2020: Daniel Ricciardo new relationship, Lando Norris, McLaren, quitting Renault


McLaren’s performance in 2021 will hinge on how well Daniel Ricciardo gels with new teammate Lando Norris, the Aussie’s new boss hoping a strong working relationship between the pair will lead to a productive season.

Teammates in F1 are often each other’s biggest rivals but McLaren racing director Andrea Stella wants Ricciardo and Norris to work together and share their “box of secrets” to maximise the chances of team success.

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Ricciardo: I’m pretty stoked

1:27



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F1 2020, Driver line-up: Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, McLaren, Zak Brown, Lando Norris


McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has an ominous warning for the rest of the F1 ahead of the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo and the team is ready to make a key adaptation.

Ricciardo is leaving Renault for McLaren, who finished in the top three in the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since 2012.

There are big chances coming both on and off the track at McLaren.

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Ricciardo: I’m pretty stoked

1:27



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Lando Norris slams Lance Stroll, Portuguese Grand Prix, crash, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo McLaren teammate


Aussie Daniel Ricciardo has already established a hilarious double act with his future McLaren teammate Lando Norris, but the 20-year-old Brit has launched a furious attack on Racing Point’s Lance Stroll after the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Norris, who started the season with a podium and has been key to McLaren’s assault on third place in the constructors championship, was heading for another good result in at Portimao, having even pushed into third early in the race.

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But on lap 18, with a points finish looking likely, a clumsy attack from Stroll on the outside of turn one saw the Canadian turn in on Norris, essentially ruining both drivers’ races.

Stroll spun, while Norris had to pit immediately with both cars taking damage.

Stroll was ultimately handed a five-second penalty for the incident, while he copped a second five-second penalty for exceeding track limits.

Norris erupted immediately at the incident.

“What the f*** is this d***head doing? I‘ve got damage boys I need to box. I got wing damage,” Norris said over team radio.

Norris ultimately finished 13th but Stroll retired with 15 laps to go a long way back in last place.

But it wasn’t the first incident of the weekend, with Stroll crashing with Max Verstappen in Friday’s practice.

The crash came at turn one when the Dutchman appeared to pay little heed to his rival’s position as he went outside him.

Stroll’s car was sent spinning into the gravel.

In a race, it might have been seen as a racing incident with blame for both men, but Verstappen was adamant, on team radio, that the Canadian driver required an eyesight test.

“Is this f***ing guy blind?” he yelled. ”What the f*** is wrong with him?”

Video replays suggested that Verstappen may have thought Stroll was completing a flying lap and easing off to allow him to begin his own but Racing Point’s team chief Otmar Schafnaeur said Stroll was doing two successive fast laps.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner ultimately said the incident was “50-50”.

But while the blame in both situations could be argued, Norris took aim at Stroll, accusing the 21-year-old of not learning from his mistakes.

“I don‘t know what he was doing really,” Norris said.

“I don‘t know where he was really. He went to the left, which I was quite surprised by when he easily could have gone to the inside. I was easily halfway alongside, and he just turns in.

“He obviously didn‘t learn from Friday, but he doesn’t seem to learn with anything he does. It happens a lot, so I just need to make sure I stay away.”

Norris was furious after the race as he felt points were on offer, but had to go into survival mode after the incident.

A late puncture also didn’t help the Brit.

“I was just on my own for a lot of the race,” Norris said.

“We were struggling a lot with the wind initially, and then I had a puncture which meant I had to box again on the second stop.

“Then the final stint, we were quick, and we had good pace, but we were just way too far behind where we should have been.

“It‘s a shame, we could have scored some points today, but it just wasn’t to be.”



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F1 2020: Lando Norris says McLaren are the real deal in championship race


Lando Norris believes McLaren can maintain a challenge for third place in the Constructors’ Championship over the season.

McLaren head into their home British GP this week behind only Mercedes and Red Bull in the standings after a start to the season in which they have already achieved three top-five race results — including a maiden F1 podium for Norris in Austria.

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Back on the rise after a fourth-placed finish last year, McLaren currently sit a point clear of Racing Point and 14 ahead of Ferrari, who have slipped away from their usual frontrunning rivals at the start of this campaign.

Speaking to Sky Sports News at the McLaren’s Woking Technology Centre ahead of the forthcoming Silverstone double-header, Norris spoke with optimism about their prospects of remaining a threat behind the current top two.

“We can definitely fight for it,” said Norris, in an interview with Craig Slater.

“It’s hard to say. The first two races of the season were extremely good. Overachieving in some ways and beating a lot of cars that were quicker than us.

“End of, they were quicker than us — but we did a better job in terms of strategy and racing and not crashing and not getting penalties. We overachieved and we did better than our pace shows.

“[Hungary] was a bit more of a realistic outlook on results — maybe not so much on my side because I did the mistake at the start and put myself in a worse position than I should have been – but I think we’ve got a very good opportunity to fight for it this year.

“Last year that was the top three gone and then everyone else [was fighting for fourth]. Now we have a better opportunity to be there and fight and maybe swing it back and forth.

McLaren qualified as the fifth-quickest team last time out in Hungary and a realistic Norris acknowledged: “I don’t think we have a car that we can just say ‘yeah, we are going to be third or we can challenge second or first even’.

“We are still a long way from that, but we are in that position where we can say we are going to fight for it [third].

“We can get good points so maybe some weekends we’ll do better, some weekend they’ll do better, but it’s nice being able to think of it in that way and not just being ‘best of the rest’, for example.”

Norris, who had an epic wheel-to-wheel battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in Budapest, added: “I like how tight it is, how much action there is, being able to fight different cars that last year we dreamt of fighting.”

NORRIS ON THAT GARAGE PHOTO AND MATURING AS A DRIVER

After headline-grabbing performances at the season’s opening double-header in Austria – when he twice starred on the race’s final lap to gain third and fifth places respectively – Norris finished only 13th in Hungary after his race was undone by a poor start in the wet.

Yet, despite that disappointment, the 20-year-old took the time to help his mechanics build down his MCL35 car in the garage on Sunday evening. As Norris explained, it was neither a first for him nor simply a show for social media.

“It’s something I’ve done a few times before,” he said. “I guess I started doing it in 2018 when I first was with McLaren. When I was at some of the race tracks where I wasn’t driving [in F2], I’d do FP1 in Japan or America, and I would be flying around with the mechanics and engineers.

“Then on Sunday night, normally when I was racing, I would be flying home. But last weekend and on other weekends the flight has always been the next day or on Tuesday, so there’s no reason why I would go to hotel and watch Netflix when I could take an F1 car apart!

“It’s something I guess I’ve always loved doing, a bit hands on, since I was very young. But the bonus is I can spend time with the mechanics, have laughs and we all get along so and it’s just good fun.

“Especially this time. It was three very long weeks for them and it was just a better opportunity to go and help them.”

With teammate Carlos Sainz leaving for Ferrari at the end of the year, Norris will be the driver with the more experience of the team when Daniel Ricciardo joins for 2021.

But Norris says that, irrespective of Sainz’s departure, taking more of a leading role represents the next required part of his development as an F1 driver.

“A lot of that is not just by helping the mechanics after the race, a lot of that is stuff we do back here [at the MTC] or stuff I do when we’re at the track, talking about things and thinking ahead in the future. I feel that already but not just for the fact of Carlos leaving,” said the 20-year-old.

“I feel like that’s just the way I kind of have to mature in some ways and learn about Formula 1.

“Last year was a big learning year for me in trying to be integrated to the team and learning a lot of things. Whereas this year is a bit more about leading my way and telling them what I want. In some ways being, not arrogant, but arrogant in the way of saying ‘I want this guys’ and ‘I need this’ [on the car] and so on, and not being the nice guy saying ‘yes’ to everything!”

This article originally appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission.



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Lando Norris makes history, steals the show


Life is looking bright at McLaren after Lando Norris secured his first ever podium and Carlos Sainz finished fifth as the F1 season finally started in Austria.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) crossed the line first and second respectively in the opening race of 2020, which arrived several months after the scheduled start in Melbourne was cancelled because of COVID-19.

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McLaren was the big mover in 2019, establishing itself as the midfield leader ahead of Renault by coming fourth in the constructors’ championship and the team has started on a cheerful note this season.

Norris was overcome with emotion and his reaction to a maiden top-three finish was gold.

The 20-year-old wasted no time celebrating with McLaren chief Zac Brown, who gave his young driver a big bear hug after he jumped into the boss’s arms.

“He hugged me so tight, pretty sure he broke my rib,” Norris told Sky Sports. “I’m in a bit of pain.”

Celebrations are a bit different to what F1 fans are used to in this world of social distancing but Norris still made his first shake of the champagne bottle one to remember, cracking it on the ground and spraying Bottas and Leclerc before turning his attention to his thirsty engineers.

Norris became the third-youngest driver ever and the youngest Brit to score a podium in F1, and he did so by pulling out the fastest lap of the race on his final tour of the circuit to pip Lewis Hamilton, who was relegated to fourth after receiving a five-second penalty for an incident with Red Bull’s Alex Albon.

Norris surged past Sergio Perez late to cross the line within five seconds of Hamilton and scrape into the top three of a wild race that saw nine drivers fail to finish.

“Oh my god. Insane,” Norris said as he re-watched footage of his blistering last lap during an interview with Sky. “That’s why you need big balls.

“We took every opportunity we could with other people making mistakes and clashing and getting penalties.

“At the end of the day that was the thing which won it for us, was not giving up and taking those necessary risks.

“I only knew Hamilton was going to get a penalty with a couple of laps to go.

RELATED: Six F1 drivers choose not to kneel

“So it was only after (passing) Perez I knew I needed to really start to push. I only did it by two tenths. One small lock-up, one mistake that I could have made, or just our pace not being quite as good as it was, and I wouldn’t be here.

“Proud of what we have achieved as a team. Fourth (in qualifying) we were very happy with — we were over the moon with. We knew it was going to be very difficult to achieve anything like that today but we went one better.

“I’m very happy. I got a nice little trophy as well, the first one for a couple of years.”

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo will be feeling let down after an engine failure cut his race short but he will at least be heartened to see McLaren perform strongly.

Ricciardo is leaving Renault at the end of the season to team up with Norris at McLaren in 2021, after Carlos Sainz was snapped up by Ferrari.

Ricciardo is yet to stand on the podium with Renault but after what we saw from McLaren in Austria, he’ll be hopeful of tasting some champagne himself as soon as possible next year.



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