McLaren are over the moon right now. Not only did the team achieve their best-ever finish in the Constructors’ Championship standings since 2012, but only it will welcome Daniel Ricciardo in the garage next season as well.
The Aussie is not only known for his racecraft but also his cheerful persona. The combination of which makes him one of the most popular names on the F1 grid today. And his teammate for 2021, Lando Norris, is often referred to as his mini-me.
So, McLaren CEO Zak Brown admitted that they might have the most popular driver pairing next season. “I think Formula 1 recently did a study of the two most popular drivers – and they were Daniel and Lando.”
This must be music to his ears considering how in addition to performing on the track, they bring some much-needed revenue,” I can’t imagine a more exciting pairing of drivers on the track, commercially and off-track.”
Daniel Ricciardo will be a ‘great reference’ for Norris
Zak Brown has made no secret of the fact that he has been after Daniel Ricciardo for quite some time now. “He’s a great personality. We tried to get him a few years ago. So we’ve been Daniel fans for some time.”
What’s more, getting a 7-time race winner like him will certainly uplift Lando’s performances according to Andreas Seidl. The Briton will be on his toes at all times.
“We know he’s a great driver. He’s also a great reference for us because he has already won races in the past with the right material. For Lando, he’ll be a good reference,” said the McLaren Team Principal.
Who will win the on-track battle next year- Ricciardo or Norris?
While it sounds all sweet and merry right now, it is going to get a little heated once the lights go out in Australia. From the outside, they may look like some harmless wisecrackers, but there’s a competitive fire burning within.
Both of them may want to get bragging rights. And while Ricciardo may be new to the team, he will slightly overshadow his younger teammate next season. The former Red Bull driver can lay a marker down on what could be a spicy rivalry very soon.