Norris compares Ricciardo and Sainz

Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz

Lando Norris has compared his previous McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz with the operation’s new arrival, Daniel Ricciardo.

Last year’s Formula 1 silly season witnessed a chain reaction of signings following Ferrari’s decision to part ways with Sebastian Vettel.

That saw Sainz snapped up by the Scuderia, with Ricciardo promptly announced as the Spaniard’s replacement at McLaren.

“It’s a little bit into the unknown because I’ve only had one team-mate in Formula 1, so it’s hard to know what to expect from somebody different,” Norris told The Race.

“But I rate Carlos extremely highly, as do Ferrari.

“I don’t feel like I wasn’t going up against anybody competitive and Daniel is going to do something incredible [compared with Sainz].

“I’ve seen Carlos do many things better than Daniel, but there’s also a lot of things that Daniel probably does better than Carlos.”

Ricciardo has amassed seven grands prix wins since entering F1 in 2011, contrasted with Sainz’s two podium results since his own debut in 2015 with Toro Rosso.

Norris, however, suggests there is little between the two drivers, despite the disparity in achievements to date.

“He’s a different driver, but he’s not going to be tenths faster than Carlos,” Norris reasoned of Ricciardo.

“Maybe there’s better consistency or better feedback, he’s able to do a better job in qualifying or he’s better at tyre saving, there’s these small things that he can do slightly better in.

“A lot of it is just going to be from his experience of being with a lot of different teams in Formula 1 and at a Red Bull team which has won races lately.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to learn from someone like that, rather than feel worried or anything like that.”

Ricciardo will make his debut for McLaren during pre-season testing, which gets underway in March in Bahrain ahead of the opening race of the season at the same circuit.

McLaren’s 2021 challenger is again expected to sport orange paintwork after the team teased an image on social media this week.

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