• Lando Norris will compete in his third F1 season in 2021.
• The driver made his debut with McLaren in 2019 and has garnered widespread praise.
• In 2021, Norris will be partnered by veteran driver Daniel Ricciardo.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says it is time for Lando Norris to ditch the rookie mentality and challenge new team mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The Briton made his Formula 1 debut in 2019, but although he now has two years of Formula 1 experience under his belt, Norris is still very much seen as one of the rookie drivers on the grid, still aged only 21.
But, as quoted by GPFans.com, Brown feels it is "time for Lando to no longer be a rookie", and take the fight to his new team mate Ricciardo, a seven-time race winner who arrives from Renault.
Brown said: "This year will be his third year. 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."
Done what's asked
In his two seasons with McLaren Norris has finished on the podium once, that coming courtesy of a P3 finish at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, but his overall performances against the more experienced Carlos Sainz earned the youngster plenty of praise.
Finishing only eight points behind Sainz in the 2020 Drivers' Championship, Norris and his now-former team mate took McLaren to P3 in the Constructors' Championship, and Brown credited the performances of Norris after challenging him to find more "aggression" in his second season.
Brown added: "I think Lando has done an excellent job, 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.
"We wanted him to 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. Hence, 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."