Norris feels more pressure from his new teammate. Lando Norris has been working with a new teammate at McLaren since the start of the year, young Australian Oscar Piastri, who has replaced his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo.
As team mates, one of the most painful aspects of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren F1 stint has been that while he’s struggled to get to grips with two very different car designs, his team-mate Lando Norris has consistently thrived.
Ricciardo admitted he could not compete with Norris
A troubling comparison comes when Ricciardo sees Norris doing what he literally cannot in a McLaren. Something the Australian commented on last year.
“Obviously, we have so much data, and I’ll watch Lando’s onboards as well,”
“And I’ll see sometimes what he’s able to do, and I’m just like, ‘OK, I can see it, but I can’t do it’. And I’m like, why won’t it just rotate, or do that?
“And even in debriefs, you’ll hear from Lando ‘oh this stint of the race, I could really feel the car was working there, it kind of came alive’ where I’m just like… I never had that feeling.”
READ MORE: Ricciardo promised a drive at the Canadian GP
Just @OscarPiastri making up FIVE places at the start 🤯#MiamiGP #F1 @McLarenF1 pic.twitter.com/abr5eehz87
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 8, 2023
Piastri ‘the real deal’?
Ricciardo’s failure at McLaren has been one of the biggest head-scratchers in recent F1 history, but his departure from the team has been keenly felt by F1 fans.
In the 2022 season, Ricciardo was consistently off Norris’ pace, sometimes by literal seconds (a lifetime in F1), like at the British Grand Prix. Ricciardo also only out-qualified Norris twice during the 2022 season.
Perhaps one of the best factors in comparing the new boy to Norris is in qualifying, currently Norris beats Piastri 4 1 in that competition.
Certainly one of Norris’ most impressive attributes has been how he’s been able to eke every last drop of performance out of his cars, even when McLaren’s been uncompetitive. It’s the sign of a good driver.
Therefore when a good driver praises a rookie, it is high praise indeed.
High praise for Piastri
McLaren driver Lando Norris has recently compared his current team-mate Oscar Piastri to his predecessor Daniel Ricciardo, with the British driver explaining that the young Australian is ‘pushing him’ more compared to the last two years when Ricciardo was driving the second McLaren.
One therefore must summarise that Norris believes Piastri to be a better driver in the McLaren to his predecessor.
When asked about the differences between Piastri and his former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the way they work, the British driver said: “Honestly, it’s not that different. I think the way I worked last year with Daniel is not that different, not much changes,” explained Lando Norris.
Red Bull reacts to Wolff’s advice
“Maybe he [Piastri] leans on me a bit more to see how we were in previous years, to look at the development from last year to this year.”
“But apart from that, we both give our version of the feelings and what’s going on in the car and what you expect from the car, and so far it’s going well, we’re aligned. I wouldn’t say we have the same driving style, but our feedback and complaints are generally always similar.”
“So I think that’s a good thing. He’s a lovely guy, he’s very down to earth, he’s a normal guy, a hard worker etc.”
“That’s good, but it’s different from Daniel [Ricciardo] as well. He’s very fast at the same time, so I probably feel a bit more pushed than the last two years. So yeah, it’s nice.”
After the fifth race of the year in Miami, Oscar Piastri is 14th in the championship with four points, while Lando Norris is ninth with 10 points.
READ MORE: -Horner: Disingenuous and pointless debate
I find it interesting to note (without taking anything away from Norris or Piastri) that these two drivers have only drove a McLaren F1 car. Would be really interesting to see what would happen if either were given the opportunity to race in another car – given Horners comments regarding Ricciardos picked up bad habits that they didn’t recognize at all.