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"Awesome" Norris can push Ricciardo - Brown

"Awesome" Norris can push Ricciardo - Brown

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"Awesome" Norris can push Ricciardo - Brown

"Awesome" Norris can push Ricciardo - Brown

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has praised the "awesome" performances of Lando Norris across his first two seasons in Formula 1 and believes the Briton can battle new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Norris secured his first podium in the sport last season and finished just eight points behind his more experienced former team-mate Carlos Sainz.

Brown explained the team had asked Norris to show more aggression during a second season that saw the team finish 'best of the rest' in third in the constructors' championship.

“I think Lando has done an excellent job," he said. "If we look at what we asked him to do after year one, our review of year one was he had an excellent year, we wanted him to pick up his aggressiveness.

"Maybe at times, he showed such maturity not making rookie mistakes which you expect and I think he demonstrated his speed and we wanted him to just dial up the aggressiveness a bit and, if you look at what he did last year, he and Carlos are even again effectively in qualifying, pretty much even in points so Lando had a better year as far as points versus his team-mate.

"He had some awesome starts, some awesome races, some awesome battles which was an area we wanted to see him step up to and he has done that."

Ricciardo joined McLaren from Renault in January replacing Sainz, the Spaniard moving to Ferrari, and Norris now has the chance to learn from a proven race winner.

Declaring "it's time for Lando to no longer be a rookie," Brown said he is confident Norris will be able to go toe to toe with Ricciardo and push the team to another good result.

“This year will be his third year," he added. "Clearly, Daniel has a lot more experience but I think it’s time for Lando to no longer be a rookie.

"It’ll be a less experienced driver than Daniel but I expect them to push each other extremely hard and I think Lando will continue to grow with having someone like Daniel as his team-mate.”

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