McLaren Formula 1 racing director Andrea Stella hopes that the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo to the team will be a fruitful addition, and holds hopes of a close relationship forming between Ricciardo and Lando Norris.
Speaking on the likely impact of Ricciardo, Stella said: “He’s proven that he’s one of the best out there.”
Stella says the close relationship between Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, encouraged both men to open their “box of secrets” and share information.
“The most important thing from my point of view is that we preserve the conditions that we created to allow that high level of collaboration between Carlos and Lando,” Says Stella.
“But it’s not just about preserving those conditions, we may have to adapt them. Daniel is not Carlos and his relationship with Lando will be different.
“It may be similar, but it will not be the same and we need to be mindful of that and adapt with a view to maintain the standards.”
Sainz and Norris were team mates for two seasons, where they quickly formed a close bond. They helped the McLaren team move up from sixth to fourth and then third in the constructors’ championship.
“Carlos and Lando have been excellent this year,” said Stella in a team website Q&A. “The level of collaboration between the two of them has been incredibly high.”
“When there is an open and transparent dialogue between team mates, it elevates their performance because they can crosscheck with each other and quickly identify the weak points of the car or find the best approach to a corner.
“I hope, the environment we have built within the team which encourages openness and trust.
“It means the drivers feel comfortable opening their box of secrets, rather than keeping that box closed so as not to give away any advantage to their teammate.”
McLaren technical director, James Key, worked with Ricciardo at Toro Rosso in the early days of Daniel’s F1 career, and expects him to be a much stronger package these days.
“He’s an excellent driver to work with,” said Key. “He will have accumulated plenty of experience and knowledge since I last worked with him, so I expect he’ll be several steps ahead of where he was back then in terms of what he’ll bring to the team.
“He arrives as a proven race winner and is someone who can go toe-to-toe with the very best drivers. Daniel is very easy to get on with, but he’s hugely determined and that has a positive effect on any team.”