Ricciardo’s McLaren teammate signs new contract extension
Daniel Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris has signed a surprise contract extension with McLaren just days out from the Monaco Grand Prix.
McLaren’s announcement came from out of nowhere on Wednesday night after the British rising star was reported to already be under contract through to the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
McLaren’s new extension has locked Norris down and keeps him away from any rival teams circling the talented pilot.
The team has announced the 21-year-old has signed a multi-year extension, but has not clarified the length of the new deal — or any clauses contained in the fine print.
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Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo are now the best of frenemies.Source:AFP
The new contract means McLaren has a stable driving pairing until at least the end of 2023, with Ricciardo also remaining under contract until the end of the 2023 season. At the age of 31, Ricciardo has taken a major gamble with his McLaren contract — a deal which could potentially be the last one he signs in Formula 1.
“I’m delighted with the extension of our agreement with Lando for 2022 and beyond.,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown said in a statement.
“He’s been instrumental in our return of form here at McLaren and we’re proud of the growth he’s shown since he first started with us back in 2017. Lando is one of the brightest talents on the Formula 1 grid and we look forward to seeing him continue to go from strength-to-strength both on and off track.”
Norris told his fans the news on Twitter: “So excited to tell you that I’m staying with McLaren.
“My goal is to win races and world championships and over the last three years. McLaren have shown me that they’re able to build a car for me to do that in. Let’s continue what we started.”
The announcement in part explains why the team used Norris’ No. 4 MCL35 when showing off the one-off livery the team will run with this weekend.
Boys are looking sharp for the #MonacoGP. 👌#GulfXMcLarenpic.twitter.com/OmjwkGkDrj
There was speculation following the promotional shoot that Norris was emerging as the face of the team.
The new deal shows Ricciardo clearly doesn’t have No. 1 driver status in the team — and the two drivers appear certain to wrestle for the bragging rights for the rest of the year.
Norris leads Ricciardo in the championship, having finished ahead of the Aussie in the first three races of the year. However, the Perth product has shown he is up for the fight, having out-performed Norris in qualifying in three of the four races this year.
Ricciardo also produced his most complete weekend this year when he finished sixth at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month — besting Norris for the first time.
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