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Friday, December 2, 2022

Norris: No sympathy for Ricciardo’s struggles with MCL36 F1

Norris insists that this year’s machine initially didn’t suit him either, and he has had to change his driving style in order to perform at a high level.

He said that he had tried to assist Ricciardo by sharing information, but stressed that ultimately it was not his responsibility to help his teammate get up to speed.

Asked if he had any sympathy for Ricciardo’s situation given how tricky the MCL36 is to drive Norris made his position clear.

“I would hate to say it, but I would say no,” he said. “People would probably hate me for saying it.

“It’s difficult, because I never know if I might encounter that in the future, with this car or with a different team, or whatever.

“So I never want to contradict myself going into the future. I’ve just got to focus on my driving, and my job. It’s not my job to focus on someone else.

“I’m not a driver coach, I’m not here to help and do those kinds of things. I’m here to perform at my absolute best, and that’s about it.

“So it’s difficult, when people start to have a expectation that it’s my job to also start doing these other things and helping and describing this and doing that, when that’s not really the case.

“And it’s also the case that if I don’t perform well for a few years that it can also be the end of my career, and the end of me driving and F1.

“So I’ve got to focus on myself for the majority of it. And every driver has to adapt to the scenarios they are in, and I feel like I’ve had to do that.”

Norris stressed that he hasn’t found the MCL36 easy to drive.

“It’s not a car that I’ve just been able to jump in and feel like I just flow with and can perform exactly how I want,” he said.

“In the beginning of the year, Daniel was performing better than I was in the pre-season tests and stuff. And it looked like he could just go out naturally and drive the car how he wanted to.

“And I just started to learn a new way of driving compared to how I’ve been used to driving the car for last three years. So I feel like I’ve had to do a job of adapting, and so has he.

“But I don’t feel like for any driver on the grid you will have to feel or have sympathy for them because they’ve not been able to do as good of a job.”

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