Lando Norris says Daniel Ricciardo’s improved form will be of benefit for everyone at McLaren after a tough start to his career with the team.
Norris spearheaded McLaren’s charge throughout the first half of the season, scoring three podiums, as Ricciardo adapted to the MCL35M.
McLaren performed strongly at Monza, with Ricciardo controlling the race from the start, while Norris moved into second to complete an unlikely 1-2.
The win brought McLaren’s near nine-year drought to a close.
McLaren remains locked in a close fight for third in the standings against Ferrari, a gap which is now 13.5 in McLaren’s favour, and Norris sees Ricciardo’s improved form and feeling with the MCL35M as a benefit.
“In terms of what he can do on track now compared to what he could do a few months ago he’s definitely a lot closer, for sure,” said Norris.
“It’s also good for me in a way, as much as I hate it because you want to beat anyone in any circumstance! It’s only going to push me more, push the team more, help us as a team in the Constructors’ as well.
“We’re racing Ferrari, who have got two extremely good drivers, to beat them week in week out… it’s been a tough first half of the season for us when Daniel has been struggling that little bit, but now he’s come through a bit more.
“I think he’s showing what he can do and what everyone knows he can do, and the reason [why] he came to McLaren. It’s only going to be better for all of us.”
Norris added that the strength of McLaren’s performance throughout the Monza weekend gives it confidence that it wasn’t a freak result.
“Definitely a good amount of it [the outcome] was improved performance,” he said.
“Carlos [Sainz] was on the podium last year so we were confident we could have a good one – maybe not expecting the outcome we had but we expected a potential podium, a chance to be ahead of the Red Bull or Mercedes and we thought we could take it.
“Daniel led from the start, we were in these positions [on merit], that’s why it’s more we deserved it [than luck], we were there on pace, where Daniel put the car, where I put the car.
“That definitely makes it cooler, more earned, and gives us that confidence to go in the future.”