Lando Norris has blasted suggestions that McLaren have a no.1 and no.2 driver dynamic. The team features two very strong drivers in Daniel Ricciardo and Norris. While Ricciardo has been unable to replicate his old form, Norris has grown from strength to strength.
The young British driver is now considered to be one of the best on the grid. The same cannot be said about his teammate, though. Ricciardo has lost his seat at McLaren for next season and has been a shadow of himself in recent seasons. While Norris has been a regular points scorer, Ricciardo has struggled to match his teammate.
There is a huge gulf in performance of the two drivers that have led to suggestions that McLaren could be favouring Norris over Ricciardo. Norris, though, does not think that is the case.
The McLaren driver quashed these suggestions by calling them 'overrated'. Norris talked about how the two drivers work together on race weekends and try to get the best possible solutions to implement for the team. He said:
"This discussion is overrated. I see far too much talk of 'they only care about this rider and them; the other driver doesn't care at all'. That doesn't just apply to us, but to every team. I love it when people think they know what they're talking about when they really have no idea. Sometimes it is the complete opposite of reality."
Lando Norris emphasised the importance of both drivers working together in harmony and pushing the team forward. He also feels there's a complete opposite of a 'No.1 and No.2' dynamic at the team, saying:
"Before every single race, we have a meeting where we go through how we can work well together as a team. It's about how we're not number 1 and number 2 work. Daniel can help me in certain situations, and I can help him sometimes. We have this discussion every weekend. It's literally the opposite of a number 1 and number 2 driver role. It's about how we can function better as a unit to get better results in the end."
Ahead of the Singapore GP next month, while Lando Norris (88) is seventh in the driver standings, Daniel Ricciardo (19) is languishing in 14th place.
Lando Norris on how parts are allocated to both McLaren drivers
One of the common benefits of being a No.1 driver is that he gets the latest part in his car first.
Lando Norris touched on that aspect and added that whenever a new part comes, both he and Ricciardo alternate between who gets that part on a particular race weekend. He said:
"There are no priorities," said Norris. "I get a new part on a weekend, and then Daniel gets a new part the next weekend. It's completely fair. Maybe the other teams work in different ways, but as far as we're concerned, that's not the case at all."
Despite there being no No. 1 in the team, Ricciardo has been heavily outscored by his teammate this season. It's this divergence in performance that possibly led to the Australian facing the axe.
Lando Norris will partner Oscar Piastri next season, while Ricciardo's future in the sport is still under speculation.