In the high-speed world of Formula 1, where rivalries often take center stage, there’s a heartwarming story that recently emerged from the paddock. Daniel Ricciardo, the affable Australian driver, has opened up about his unique bond with former McLaren teammate Lando Norris. Not only did he offer to take Norris on a tour of his home country, Australia, but he also reflected on their camaraderie during their time as McLaren teammates, despite the intense competition on the track.
Ricciardo, currently in the midst of therapy for an injury to his left hand, bid farewell to his two-year stint with McLaren when CEO Zak Brown surprisingly replaced him with Oscar Piastri for the 2023 season. This move came even though Ricciardo had one more year left on his contract before its natural expiration. As part of the departure, McLaren provided him with a substantial £15 million pay-off.
In a revealing 2023 interview, Ricciardo shared that it had always been his dream to conclude his Formula 1 career with Red Bull, the team where he initially gained prominence. This dream became a reality as he secured the reserve driver position with the Milton Keynes outfit. Eventually, he earned a full-time racing seat with Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri, stepping in for Nyck de Vries. However, his racing journey took an unexpected turn after only two races when he suffered a left Metacarpal injury during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend. Thankfully, the good news followed swiftly as an announcement came about the extension of the Australian driver’s contract, alongside teammate Yuki Tsunoda, until the end of the following year.
With some downtime away from the intense racing schedule, Ricciardo was asked in an interview to name a fellow F1 driver he’d like to accompany on a road trip around Western Australia. Out of all the drivers he maintains friendly relations with, he chose none other than Lando Norris as his road trip companion. When asked about his choice, Ricciardo explained his decision during a conversation with PerthNow.
“It’s risky saying someone who hasn’t been a team-mate because I guess I don’t know them too well.
“So I’d probably have to go with someone that’s been a team-mate… even someone like Lando.
“We were team-mates for two years. I think the first year was very different to the second year. I think the second year we got to know each other a lot better.
“So I think on that, knowing that if we spent a lot of time together in a car and confined space maybe that would blossom even more.”
During their time as colleagues, Ricciardo was the sole driver among the two to secure a victory in Monza in 2021, marking a memorable 1-2 finish for their team.