Lando Norris makes Oscar Piastri prediction as McLaren rivalry heats up on-track

Oscar Piastri currently leads Lando Norris in the 2024 F1 world championship

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Lando Norris believes his inter-team battle with Oscar Piastri is as tough as last year but added the Australian will make him a better driver as McLaren search for their first podium of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

The 2023 season saw the pair make a combined nine trips to the rostrum and Piastri also picked up a sprint victory in Qatar – while Norris still awaits his first F1 race win – but the experienced head prevailed overall finishing three places and 108 points ahead in the drivers’ standings.

However, 2024 has proved a different story at least so far, with Piastri ahead in the championship thanks to arguably his best-ever grand prix weekend in Saudi Arabia where he comfortably beat Norris in qualifying and the race.

“I’d say the same as last year,” Norris told the media when asked how tough the battle will be. “And last year was already a very tough competition. He’s obviously improved, because it’s his second year, he’s a bit more just comfortable.

“He looked comfortable last year, but now he’s probably even more comfortable. So yeah, he’s doing he’s doing a strong job and he did since day one last year already. So I don’t expect anything different, he’s going to push me, I’m going to push him and I look forward to our battles together.”

Norris outlines positives of Piastri battle

Race winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Second placed Lando Norris and Third placed Oscar Piastri of McLaren and Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner on the podium after 2023 Japanese GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Norris was beaten by teammate Carlos Sainz in his first two seasons at McLaren before the Spaniard left for Ferrari, but then dominated Daniel Ricciardo in 2021 and 2022 with the battle so one-sided that the Australian’s contract was terminated a year early.

But while he also got the better of his antipodean teammate in 2023, Piastri showed clear signs of growth throughout his rookie year and produced a complete weekend performance at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to claim fourth.

“I said since the first preseason test we did last year, he’s been on the pace,” Norris added. “And as much as like our comments and everything always align and 99% of the time we’re the same, he still drives in a slightly different way. You always want a teammate where they can push you.

“They’ll be doing a different style some corners and it works. Then you can learn about that and use that and sometimes my style, someone else’s style, might work somewhere else. So if your teammate’s a good teammate, you’re always going to learn things from them.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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