The McLaren driver will change team-mates at the end of the season after Daniel Ricciardo was sacked by his team a year before the end of his contract. In the pre-race weekend press conference for the Formula Grand Prix at Spa, the young British driver made no attempt to feign pity for the Australian.
“People might hate me after saying that” said Lando Norris. The McLaren driver is still relatively fresh in the world of Formula 1 but he has already understood the essence of the sport: here, no pity, no friendship, especially with a teammate.
If Lando Norris was close to Carlos Sainz Jr in his early days, his relationship with joker Dan remained cordial and professional until the latter’s departure at the end of the season was announced.
After Ricciardo had just given out some praise to McLaren at Spa on Thursday, saying he understood the team’s decision because of his performance. When asked about this, Lando Norris expressed no particular empathy for his team-mate.
“I don’t think I should have any sympathy for any driver who hasn’t been able to do as good a job as I have,” he said, before adding: “I hate to say that.”
“I just have to concentrate on my riding and my work,” he continued.
“My job is not to focus on anyone else, I’m not a coach. I’m not here to help anyone. I’m here to give the maximum, quite simply. So, obviously, it’s difficult when people expect me to do other things when that’s not my job.”
Oscar Piastri, who has been lined up to take over from Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, knows what to expect: Norris is a prodigy who has assimilated the rules of the game in F1. Here, only the performance counts, not the feelings.