Ricciardo will leave the team at the end of the season after McLaren mutually agreed to end his contract early, opening the door for Oscar Piastri in 2023.

The Australian replaced Carlos Sainz for 2021, with Norris enjoying a strong friendship with the Spaniard during their two years as teammates.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s F1 Dutch Grand Prix, Norris spoke about his relationship with Ricciardo.

“For some reason people think otherwise but it’s completely untrue,” Norris said. “We have a lot of fun together, we spend a lot of time together but just things are different just because he’s a bit older and he’s into different things. 

“He’s not into playing golf and so on, so you don’t see it as much on social media or whatever.”

Norris is hopeful his strong relationship with Sainz remains intact but conceded that it could be affected if the pair go head-to-head for wins and championships in the coming years.

“I mean we have a long future ahead of us. Hopefully, we have a lot of battles in the future so you never know how relationships change when you have battles, hopefully for wins and championships. We’re just good friends away from the track. I guess we have a lot of respect for each other. 

“It’s nice coming into F1 with a teammate that was helpful, he helped me learn many things and get into the rhythm of F1 and that stays with you for a long time. It’s clear we have a lot of respect for each other. I supported him on his adventure with Ferrari and when things changed, and I think he supports me in a similar way. It’s always difficult to know what’s going to happen in the future. 

“When we are on track, there’s nothing more than we want to beat each other and to prove who wants to be a better driver but things like this make it enjoyable.”

Giving his side of the story, Sainz thinks that their friendship has grown stronger since leaving McLaren for Ferrari.

“If anything I feel like my relationship with Lando has improved after stopping being teammates as everything is a bit easier,” Sainz explained. 

“We had a lot of fun as teammates, we were getting on very well but you’re still teammates, you’re sharing the same car but you want to beat each other. Since I left McLaren, it’s like we can openly speak more about racing and feelings, and we don’t have that teammate thing in front of us. He’s a great guy. I just enjoy his company a lot.”