George Russell believes Daniel Ricciardo's swap to McLaren is a “win-win” situation for Lando Norris, who will gain from being alongside a proven race winner in Formula 1.
On Thursday, McLaren announced that Ricciardo would join the team in 2021, replacing Carlos Sainz who takes up the vacant seat at Ferrari left by the departing Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo's decision to leave Renault comes just over a year since he made his first start for the Enstone-based outfit at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
Last year, McLaren emerged as the clear leaders in the midfield battle while Renault slipped behind, ending the season fifth place in the constructors' championship, 54 points down on McLaren.
Speaking about all the recent driver market movements, Russell says that it is a great situation for F1, as another young driver will move up to the front of the field.
“I think it's great, to be honest,” Russell said on Instagram Live with Sky F1. “Mixing things up, it's great for the fans, it's great for the media, they love that.
“It's obviously great for the young guns of F1, seeing Carlos joining Ferrari, you've now got Ferrari [with] two youngsters, Red Bull with two youngsters and Lando there at McLaren.”
Russell added that Norris will “relish” the challenge of facing Ricciardo, and will benefit from having a fast, experienced teammate alongside him.
“Daniel going to McLaren is going to be good for Lando, I think he's going to relish that challenge. Having someone that's a really strong teammate next to you, I think Lando is in a bit of a win-win situation there, so that's great for him. So it's exciting for the future of the sport.”
With the average age of Ferrari's 2021 driver line-up being 23.5, Russell says that the Italian squad's roster could remain unchanged for up to seven years going forward.
Similarly, he affirms that McLaren's upcoming change to its line-up could see Ricciardo and Norris partner each other well into the 2020s.
“It took me by surprise a little bit to start with, but it all makes sense,” the Williams driver said. “With the likes of Ferrari, [they've] got to start looking towards the future with Charles and Carlos, that could potentially be their line-up for five, six, seven years to come.
“I think in any organisation, that stability is what people need - two mega good drivers, side by side. And likewise with Lando and Danny. He's [Ricciardo] still got a number of years in him.
“And he and Lando could be at McLaren for four, five, six years to come. So it all makes sense when you think of it from that side of things.”
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