Lando Norris says he is a better Formula 1 driver for his two-year stint as teammate to Daniel Ricciardo.
The two partnered each other at McLaren in 2021 and 2022, and though Ricciardo scored the team's only victory during that time, Norris comprehensively outscored the Australian, whose disappointing 2022 season saw him released from his contract and replaced with rookie Oscar Piastri.
Now the team's de facto lead driver, Norris has 12 points to Piastri's five from the first six races of 2023, but said the younger Australian was pushing him harder than Ricciardo had.
"Everyone should be able to see that Daniel was struggling with whatever he was struggling with, and Oscar doesn't seem to be struggling with quite the same things," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"There are some things that Daniel still did probably better than Oscar because of his experience and just the driver that he was, but he clearly struggled with something quite a bit, and Oscar doesn’t seem to struggle with those similar things.
"In terms of pace, he's just a lot closer to me than Daniel was, and sometimes quicker."
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Norris hails Ricciardo's experience, mentality
Norris did acknowledge, however, that working alongside the more experienced Ricciardo, who has won eight Grands Prix, was instrumental in helping him improve as a driver.
"Daniel was still quicker at certain races and certain times, and he still pushed me in a lot of ways, and I think his experience and his mentality to me was always crucial in helping me become a better person, a better driver," Norris said.
"But Oscar is just very close to me on pace, and more often and consistently than what Daniel was, simple as that, and therefore he’s pushed me more than what Daniel did.
"Not taking anything away from Daniel, just better words for what Oscar's doing."