Lando Norris assesses performance of McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri

Piastri's rookie F1 season has been said to be one of the strongest since Lewis Hamilton's in 2007


Lando Norris believes that McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri is performing better than anticipated in the 2023 Formula 1 season, and that the Briton has felt challenged by the rookie.

Piastri has often been close to Norris‘ pace since his first race in Bahrain this season and has been hailed as one of the best rookies and was recently rewarded with a three-year contract extension with the team, keeping him at McLaren until 2026.

“Congrats to him,” Norris said to media ahead of the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix. “I think any any contract that allows you to be longer in F1 is a great thing.

“He’s performed, he’s done everything he’s needed to and probably exceeded most people’s expectations from what he’s been able to achieve already this season.

“He’s pushed me a lot and it’s not a nice thing, it’s not what I want, but he’s done a very good job so congrats to him for another few years.

“We’ve had a fun first half of the season and made a lot of a lot of progress, and I think for him to be part of that progress and to hopefully continue that into next year, 2025 and 2026 is going to be yes something to look forward to.”

Piastri’s impressive rookie season

Although on paper the experienced McLaren driver looks to be dominating his debutant teammate, the reality is rather different with the gap between the pair hovering around a couple of tenths most weekends.

Piastri has recorded four points finishes in six races since he received McLaren‘s upgrade package at the British Grand Prix, with a DNF at the Belgian GP (where he also recorded a Sprint Race podium) and 12th place finish after being hit at the Italian GP.

Lando Norris of McLaren at the 2023 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort, Netherlands | @McLarenF1 Twitter

McLaren have the second best car now

One only needs to look at the statistics to see which team has been the fastest this season, with Red Bull winning 14 out of 15 races whilst they lead the Constructors’ Championship by 308 points – which they will win in Japan if they outscore Mercedes by one point and avoid being outscored by 24 from Ferrari.

But behind them, there is a tight battle for the second fastest package between Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren with Alpine managing to get involved in isolated moments.

Just 72 points separate the Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin in the constructor standings, but from the Austrian GP this season, where McLaren introduced their main upgrades, the Woking-based team have only been out-scored by Ferrari, and by just 21 points.

With McLaren‘s upgrades at the Singapore GP seeming like they worked once again as Norris finished second, he thinks they’re the third fastest behind the double championship leaders.

“I think comparing us to Ferrari and Mercedes, Mercedes have been just a lot more consistent than than what we have,” Norris continued.

“We still fluctuated quite a bit. On a good weekend we can be very, very good and maybe a little bit ahead like we’ve seen in Silverstone but on the whole Mercedes have already been a second best car this season, then Ferrari in the us so far.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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