Lando Norris is off to a fine start to this year’s Formula 1 season, sitting third in the standings. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo is eighth in the standings and very much not off to a fine start. Ricciardo’s season didn’t get any better at Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, where he was lapped by Norris, who then gave Ricciardo a little wave.
David Croft said — as they replayed Ricciardo’s wave — that it was an “Ouch moment,” and it wasn’t quite clear if he meant the wave or just the fact that Ricciardo was getting lapped by a teammate. Ricciardo, meanwhile, said after the race that he only meant it as a “cheers.”
Which should’ve put the whole thing to bed, except Norris felt compelled to address the incident again this week on Twitch.
“I see so many of you make up absolute crap and nonsense as usual,” said Norris, speaking on his Twitch channel as he reviewed the race. “Any time someone lets me pass for a blue flag, anyone, if they get out of the way properly – and they should – I put my hand up and say thanks, alright? I’m saying thanks.
Norris added that he’d done similar gestures to other drivers that hadn’t been spotted by fans, saying: “I [waved] to freaking everyone: Mazepin, Schumacher, Danny. Whoever I passed and they got out the way, I put my hand up and say thanks, right?
“So, don’t just notice one when I frigging passed Danny and then think I’m doing something that I’m not, alright? Let me just get that point across because I see a lot of stories that people make up.”
It is entirely possible that Norris meant the wave as a taunt in the moment before deciding later that that wasn’t such a hot idea, because Norris is a professional racecar driver who understands that passing your teammate is different than passing anyone else. That’s because getting lapped by a teammate — who is driving almost the same exact car — is especially humiliating. And rare, as Ricciardo afterward that it might be the first time it’s happened to him.
“I think the whole weekend simply was a weekend to forget for me personally.
“We didn’t really do a crazy-different set-up … The cars are, I want to say nearly identical, from a set-up point of view.”
McLaren chief Andreas Siedl said this week that you need a “special driving style” for the MCL35M, and that Ricciardo was working on it. Let’s hope he figures it out sooner rather than later.