Daniel Ricciardo said his teammate Lando Norris shows similar natural speed characteristics as Max Verstappen, although he thinks it is too early for direct comparisons. Ricciardo competed against both of these drivers in the same cars, having previously been Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull between 2016 and 2018.
And while he thinks it’s too early in Norris ’career to compare him to Verstappen, Ricciardo claims there are similarities on the track. "Yes, they are very different in personality, I would say. But let’s say, in terms of track ability, you can see how natural speed is there.
I see it with Lando this year. It may be too early to compare him to Max, but he is definitely very good. Very, very good. " Ricciardo has had a difficult season so far, trying to get used to McLaren's car to which Norris has adapted much better.
But he claims that previous moments in his career - like his pole position in Mexico in 2018, which he achieved in front of Verstappen - have convinced him that he has what he needs to have to fight with and win the best.
Recalling that famous moment in Mexico, which ruined Verstappen’s chances of becoming the youngest pole position winner in F1 history, Ricciardo stated that it was very important for his faith in himself.
He also said that the moment was especially good because he knew that it annoyed the Red Bull bosses a little, who eagerly awaited the breaking of that record.
“I was aware of some things, but I tried not to pay attention to it because I don’t think I’ve ever been a person with a negative mentality. "I just needed to focus on driving and that was it. But definitely, I knew that if Max achieved a pole position to be the youngest pole winner, you know, then that’s a record for him, [but also] a record for Red Bull."
"And it’s definitely good for the brand, for the team, for the marketing and it makes a profit. So, I understand that business side, and that’s why I chose not to be angry." I said to myself ‘okay, it’s a business, and I know this is a sport, but it’s also a business.
I was just happy for myself because a year earlier in Mexico I was almost a second behind Max in qualifying. It was a very strange weekend. "And the whole weekend of 2018, he was the fastest in every session, and then in Q3 I was there… out of nowhere."
"That’s why I was just proud because, uh, I still had it in me. And obviously Max drove very, very well. It just confirmed the faith I have in myself. "