McLaren’s Zak Brown claims he is “excited” about working with Daniel Ricciardo’s “sensational” replacement in a blow to the Australian star. Ricciardo was dropped by McLaren over the summer in exchange for highly-rated rookie Oscar Piastri.
Brown said the team saw the potential in the line-up with Norris to step up as team leader. According to GPFans, Brown said: “We think Oscar will be a sensational racing driver.
“If you look at his career to date, he has won a lot of championships in his first year which always tells you if a driver is special. He has got a great mental approach to this sport and now we feel Lando has a lot of experience, we feel we have a great blend of experience and youth, our experience just also happens to have youth.
“We sit here very excited for the potential of our driver line-up for the foreseeable future.” The British-based team battled with the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board to secure the services of the former F2 champion after he walked out on a deal with Alpine.
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He revealed Ricciardo had contacted him after the announcement in a bid to clear the air between the compatriots. He told the Fast Lane podcast: “That was a really great thing for Daniel to get in touch.
“I was planning on getting in touch myself, but I think with the timing of things, he was obviously at a race and, quite frankly, I didn’t actually know if he wanted to hear from me. I was trying to think of what to say, but he beat me to it.
“With him getting in touch like that, it was great for me personally. Knowing that there’s no hard feelings, that really helped me quite a lot – it was a nice moment.”