'Interesting': F1 teammate's dig at Daniel Ricciardo's form

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·Sports Reporter
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McLaren's Lando Norris says he's surprised teammate Daniel Ricciardo hasn't caught up to him, considering other drivers who switched teams are performing well. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)
McLaren's Lando Norris says he's surprised teammate Daniel Ricciardo hasn't caught up to him, considering other drivers who switched teams are performing well. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)

The massive pressure on Aussie F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo to perform at new team McLaren has only grown with each passing round - and now his teammate is throwing fuel on the fire.

Ricciardo's struggles in his first season with the team have been well documented, with McLaren revealing the reasons why in an interview earlier this week.

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And while some growing pains are understandable with a new team, there has been growing concern that Ricciardo's chance to truly compete for a world championship has been missed.

Despite being contracted for the 2022 season, pressure has mounted on Ricciardo thanks to the outstanding performances of teammate Lando Norris.

Norris sits third in the championship at the season's halfway point, having claimed multiple podiums, while Ricciardo has had significant trouble getting up to pace.

The young Briton piled a little more pressure on his Australian teammate when he compared Ricciardo's output to that of other drivers who had either changed teams themselves, or returned to the F1 grid after some time away.

“I know it’s not easy, but I didn’t have an experience like his one, switching cars one time, again and again. So I can’t judge,” Norris said in an interview with Sky Italia.

“It’s interesting noticing as other drivers like Carlos at Ferrari are already back on the pace, Fernando as well with Alpine.

“I thought Daniel too would have been back on the pace at this time, but he’s not far (away).”

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While Ricciardo can point to some bad luck for his lower than expected points tally, Norris has simply had more pace, more consistently throughout the season.

The McLaren engineers have admitted their car needs to be driven a certain way to extract the best out of it, but Norris said at this point there was little more he could do to help Ricciardo get up to speed.

“I don’t know where else I can help,” Norris told Motorsport-Total.com.

“I tell him what I feel, he has all my data, he can see everything I do, I describe things very well in the debriefings and what I do.

“I’m not going to lie, but at the end of the day it’s not up to me.”

F1 forced to cancel Japanese Grand Prix for second year

The 2021 Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus situation in the country.

The Suzuka race was set for October 10, following the successful staging of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but will now not take place following discussions with Formula One and the Japanese government.

It is the second year in a row that the race has not taken place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation leaves the F1 calendar facing a further reshuffle after races in Australia, China, Canada and Singapore were all called off this season.

The Turkish Grand Prix was initially cancelled but later reinstated.

The F1 Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled for a second year running due to concerns over the coronavirus. (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
The F1 Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled for a second year running due to concerns over the coronavirus. (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)

An F1 statement read: "Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan the decision has been taken by the Japanese Government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country.

"Formula One is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.

"Formula One has proven this year, and in 2020, that we can adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties and is excited by the level of interest in locations to host Formula One events this year and beyond."

The season continues with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29.

With AAP

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