Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris ‘more exciting’ than Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas

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Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris are the “most exciting driver pairing” on the F1 grid this season, according to McLaren chief Zak Brown. Ricciardo has replaced Carlos Sainz at McLaren for the 2021 campaign and will team up with Brit Norris, who has been with the team since 2019.

Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have finished in the top two of the drivers standings for the last two seasons.

Hamilton is set to end speculation over his future by signing a new multi-year contract with the Silver Arrows.

But despite Hamilton and Bottas together again, Brown believes his two drivers bring more energy to the circuit.

“I do think we have the most exciting driver pairing both on the track and off it,” Brown said.

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“They both have an energy and ambition that has made McLaren a youthful and energetic racing team.”

Brown believes this year will be too early for Ricciardo to win his first world championship.

But he is expecting some close battles between him and Norris in their debut season together.

“Everyone is expecting them to be a goofy odd couple but I am expecting more seriousness,” Brown added.

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“They are both out to prove something.

“Daniel is at the stage of his career where he wants to fight for a world championship. I don’t think we will be able to do that this year, but hopefully we will in the future.

“And Lando is no longer the ‘younger brother’ of his team-mate and so I think we are going to see two extremely fast racing drivers with personalities, but once they are in the garage it will all be business.

“Lando is going to be coming into his third year and has matured as a driver and Daniel is a seven-time race winner and those results speak for themselves.

“They are both extremely fast and Daniel is very aggressive and I think they will be tough to each other on track.

“I think we are going to have to manage them on track. Carlos and Lando gave each other a lot of room when they raced, but I think Daniel and Lando will be closer wheel-to-wheel.

“So we might need to make sure that everyone races hard but also races clean.”

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