F1: McLaren launch car for new season
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Lando Norris believes his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will be under “more pressure” than him this season after the Australian made the move from Renault to McLaren. Ricciardo is replacing Carlos Sainz, who has replaced Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.
In Ricciardo, McLaren have a driver with the race-winning experience that Sainz lacked and Norris believes this piles the pressure on Ricciardo to “come in and perform very well”.
Speaking at the launch of McLaren’s new MCL35M car, Norris said: “I don’t think the arrival of Daniel will make it any harder for me.
“I worked with Carlos who is an extremely good driver and there are things Carlos is going to be better at than Daniel and vice-versa.
“I don’t believe Daniel is a big step above anything that Carlos has achieved, and there is more pressure on him because he has been in Formula One for longer and he has to come in and perform very well.
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“It is harder for someone to go up against a much younger driver than it is for a younger driver going up against someone with more experience.
“I am in that earlier phase of my career but I still need to perform very well, and there are no excuses for me anymore.”
Ricciardo believes he will be able to compete for a world title at McLaren.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Ricciardo said: “I think this is my best chance to achieve what I’ve said all along is the goal.
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“I didn’t ever want to get to F1 just to get to F1 – I wanted to be world champion, and I still do.
“McLaren, with the way they’re progressing, feels like the best chance for me to be able to do that, maybe the best chance I’ve had.
“You never know in this sport, but I’m confident I’m in the right place.
“Can I sit here and say that I can fight for a world championship next year?
“Who knows, but I feel confident that I’m in the right place to give myself a good shot at it.
“You can see McLaren’s pathway to getting better, and I feel McLaren is ready for me to be one of the elements they haven’t had to help them win.”
McLaren’s technical director James Key is looking forward to having Ricciardo as part of team, telling the F1 Nation podcast: “It’s great to have Dan on board.
“Having worked with him… in the past, I know he’ll bring new and different opinions and ways of working to the team, which will be welcome.”
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