Lando Norris denies McLaren’s development favoured him over Daniel Ricciardo

:ando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo laughing on the driver parade. Mexico October 2022 Credit: Alamy
:ando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo laughing on the driver parade. Mexico October 2022 Credit: Alamy

Lando Norris has rebuked claims the development of McLaren’s 2022 car was favoured towards him over Daniel Ricciardo.

The MCL36 has proved a difficult customer for both drivers as early season problems were eventually ironed out but McLaren rarely troubled the podium places.

While Norris showed an ability to get more out of the car, he has denied it was built towards his preferences as the season went on.

The Brit may have finished 85 points ahead of his team-mate Ricciardo but he said that aside from a single button on the steering wheel, the car had not been changed for his benefit.

“It has not been designed or manufactured in one way to suit me more than Daniel. That is a fact,” Norris said, as reported by GPFans.com.

“Other than a pink button on my steering wheel, that is the only thing. I think it is the recharge, one to stay away from. That is literally it.

“It is a car that has obviously had input from me because of my comments over the last few years but they have not designed and manufactured it to suit me by any means.”

Throughout the season, Norris has not been one to hide his frustrations when it came to the car design and suggested that the lack of front-end grip has been a problem for years.

“As soon as we destroy the front tyres, we were seconds off, or half a second, or one second off. So it’s just the characteristic the car relies on too much,” he told Sky Sports.

“But we know all of this. We’ve known it, it’s just been something we’ve had for years sadly and it’s our job to get rid of that for next season.”

Referencing back to the supposed changes in his favour, Norris said that if that was the case then the team had done a “terrible job.”

“If it has been [developed in my favour], they have done a terrible job of achieving that.

“But in no way was it designed to help me more than Daniel.”

Ricciardo has also voiced his frustrations, stating that when he first joined he relied on instinct but lost that in the proceeding years.

“I don’t know how many times I outqualified him over the two years but it wasn’t much but to have done it when I was probably just driving more of feel and instinct and a lack of knowledge about the car, that was actually when I was probably better off.”

Read more: Daniel Ricciardo had a ‘premonition that something was brewing’ prior to McLaren exit

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