The McLaren F1 team will have arguably the jolliest driver pairing of all-time in the upcoming season. Prankster Daniel Ricciardo is taking his shoey with him to the Woking outfit to team up with the little joker, Lando Norris.
While most fans are beaming with excitement to see their camaraderie off the track, CEO Zak Brown expects them to get down to business – “Everyone is expecting them to be a goofy odd couple but I am expecting more seriousness.”
And he is not wrong, as the mad world of F1 means that there exists a power struggle in every team. Every driver wants to be the alpha of their unit. On one hand, Ricciardo is aching for a legitimate shot at the world title. On the other, Norris is looking to break out of his ‘rookie’ driver shell.’
“They are both out to prove something. Daniel is at the stage of his career where he wants to fight for a world championship… And Lando is no longer the ‘younger brother’ of his team-mate and so I think we are going to see two extremely fast racing drivers with personalities, but once they are in the garage it will all be business,” said Brown.
McLaren wants to avoid an on-track bust-up between Daniel Ricciardo & Lando Norris
The worst scenario imaginable for a team is when their own two drivers come together and bow out of the race. When Ricciardo and Verstappen crashed each other out at Baku in 2018, it created quite a stir in the Red Bull garage. Vettel and Leclerc had a similar impact during the 2019 Brazilian GP.
So, Zak Brown does not wish to see the sorry sight pop up on the TV screen in the paddock. He hinted that they might look at enabling team order if the drivers don’t behave themselves –
“I think we are going to have to manage them on track. Carlos and Lando gave each other a lot of room when they raced, but I think Daniel and Lando will be closer wheel-to-wheel. So we might need to make sure that everyone races hard but also races clean.”
Things are on the way up at McLaren. Not only are they getting an upgrade in the driver department, but also with a new Mercedes power unit. If 2021 is a stretch too far, 2022 may not be in their hopes of contending for the World Title.
Read More – Daniel Ricciardo Names His Top 3 F1 Drivers From The 2020 Season