LANDO NORRIS has hit back at claims he and Daniel Ricciardo "hate each other".
The pair were McLaren team-mates for the 2021 and 2022 Formula One seasons.
However, there were a number of instances of the pair appearing to clash and their relationship before the Brit said he had "no sympathy" for the Aussie after his axe in August.
A month earlier, Ricciardo called Norris a "s***head" four times in a bizarre interview and then later they got temporary tattoos of each other on their necks.
But addressing the claims of their turbulent relationship, Norris denied hating Ricciardo.
He told The Race: "It just frustrates me when I see people trying to make it look like we hate each other or that we don’t like each other, or have fun or whatever.
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“I hate that people think that because there’s not been one case where that’s been the truth.”
Ricciardo struggled to get to grips with the McLaren F1 car throughout his two years at the Woking-based team.
Again, Norris was not too bothered about his colleague's problems – and was more focused on delivering points.
He admitted in the summer he realised "people will probably hate me" for his comments.
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But as he prepares to link up with new team-mate Oscar Piastri in 2023 following Ricciardo's early snub, Norris refused to pile in on the man who will return to Red Bull as their third driver.
The Bristol-born racing driver said: “Being honest because of some certain comments that I’ve said, when it’s regarding what it’s been like some of the things Daniel’s struggled with this car, and I’ve just been honest and said that it’s not my job to help him.
“Those comments, people just for some reason take it as I don’t like him, that I’m not friends with him and we don’t get along.
“Then they just see like a headline and just want to believe everything like that.
“I don’t know why else they would believe it.
Norris continued: “I want to be like what Daniel is good at, knowing what the person he can be on a racetrack and the person he can be away from a race track and the respect he can have on either side of that platform.
“I think that’s what he’s very good at. When he puts his helmet on, he becomes this guy. And when it’s off, he’s the fun guy.
“He’s still a fun guy when he’s in the car, probably! But it’s just another level of concentration. And you kind of forget about the fun stuff.”
“In terms of personal interests, it’s such a simple thing, it just wasn’t quite the same.
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“So, we didn’t talk about things as much, because we didn’t speak about that similar things.
“It was just some simple things, maybe, made it look like we weren’t as good mates.”
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