Lando Norris did not show any sympathy for him McLaren teammate Daniel Ricardo on Thursday when asked how he felt about the early termination of the Australian’s contract.
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Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, the 22-year-old Brit revealed the sport’s tough, results-based mentality.
“I don’t feel that any of the drivers on the starting grid should be sympathized or sympathized with because they couldn’t do such a good job.” – he explained, describing the self-centered nature of the role of a race car driver.
Lando Norris leads Daniel Ricciardo 76-19 in points
When asked if he feels sympathy for his 33-year-old teammate, he answered in the affirmative.
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“I hate to say it, but I would say no” – he responded.
“People will probably hate me for it.
“And it’s difficult because I never know if I might face that in the future with this car or with another team or whatever, so I never want to contradict myself when I’m going into the future.
“I just need to focus on driving and working. It’s not my job to focus on someone else, and I’m not a coach. I’m not here to help and do things like that.”
Ricciardo announced on Wednesday that he has agreed to leave McLaren by mutual consent at the end of this year, cutting short his original three-year contract.
It is expected to receive a major award – reportedly in the region 12 million dollars.
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Lando Norris, who overtook the eight-time race winner with superior speed and results, said he worked to overcome his own difficulties and succeed.
“I feel like it’s not a machine that I’ve been able to jump into and flow and show myself exactly the way I want to. At the beginning of the year, Daniel performed better than me in the pre-season tests and in other things.” he said.
“It seemed like he could go out and drive the way he wanted to and I just had to learn how to drive in a new way compared to how I’ve been driving the last few years, so I feel like I’ve got work to do by adaptation, and so does he.
“But I don’t feel for any driver on the grid that you have to feel or have sympathy for them because they couldn’t do such a good job.”
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Lando Norris outscored Ricciardo by 76 points to 19 this season and has emerged as one of the sport’s rising stars.
McLaren has not announced who will replace Ricciardo next year, but is expected to hire an Australian Oscar Piastrewho is currently a reserve pilot for Alpine rivals.
Ricciardo has been linked with a possible place at the American club Haas team next year when they release Mick Schumacher.
The 23-year-old Schumacher, like Ricciardo, has struggled to live up to his billing in two years with Haas and particularly this year alongside Kevin Magnussen.
Garin Lambley © Agence France-Presse