Oscar Piastri Given Full Credit for Lando Norris’ Special Success Despite Committing Obvious “Rookie Errors”

Published 12/11/2023, 10:18 AM EST

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Having started the 2023 season on the back foot, McLaren made quite an impressive comeback in the latter half. McLaren’s duo of Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri took center stage in the team’s comeback, creating a buzz that resonated through the paddock and F1 experts alike. While Lando Norris showcased his seasoned skills, it was Piastri’s entry that injected a fresh dynamic, pushing the team and the British driver to new heights.

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From the outset, it was clear that McLaren had a potent driver lineup. Lando Norris, with his experience and speed, was expected to lead the charge. However, the unexpected arrival of Oscar Piastri introduced an element of uncertainty, presenting a unique challenge for the Brit. As a rookie, Piastri had the potential to upset the established order, and what happened throughout the season wasn’t far away from exactly that.

Oscar Piastri pushed Lando Norris to dig deeper than he had to in past seasons

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Despite finishing the season 108 points behind Norris, Piastri’s impact was undeniable. The close competition between the two McLaren drivers brought out the best in them, with Piastri’s high-speed performances challenging Norris to up his game. In the competitive world of Formula 1, gaining recognition from the reigning champion is a testament to one’s prowess. Max Verstappen’s acknowledgment of the McLaren duo as formidable challengers sent a strong message to the F1 grid.

Martin Brundle, Simon Lazenby, and Naomi Schiff, seasoned F1 analysts, also recognized Piastri’s role in sharpening Norris. They acknowledged both the rookie’s impressive displays and his inevitable errors. In a recent discussion on McLaren’s resurgence in 2023 on Sky Sports F1, Naomi Schiff noted, What an incredible job they’ve done for themselves. Two incredible drivers. They really did take advantage of what they had in terms of equipment in front of them when they had a car to do it. They made it happen. And the results were there. So many podiums.”

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Adding to this, Martin Brundle highlighted what a good job Oscar Piastri did. Oscar Piastri has really sharpened Lando Norris up, and Lando had to get on with that a little bit because Piastri turned up as a rookie delivering the high speeds through the really challenging corners, delivering some amazing results,” Brundle explained. Made some rookie errors as well. But I think that’s really driven both drivers on and probably just what Lando needed because, in the second half of the season, Lando Norris has been outstanding.”

Simon Lazenby also encapsulated the upward trajectory of McLaren and the challenge it posed to other teams. “Since Singapore, aside from the Red Bull drivers, [Norris has] amassed the most [points]. I think when we talk about team leaders, McLaren is going to have to start really challenging for wins soon if they’re to keep hold of someone of the talent of Lando Norris.”

“Oscar Would’ve Overtaken Me”: After Scoring Podium Finishes, Best Friends Max Verstappen & Lando Norris Recall Rookie Piastri’s Scary Exploits

With a tough challenge to Lando Norris looming large in the 2024 campaign, he’s already thinking about getting his first F1 win before his younger teammate does, especially since Oscar Piastri beat him to a Sprint win this season.

Norris is confident of getting his first Formula 1 win in 2024

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Lando Norris expressed optimism and reflected on the past year, considering it his best since entering Formula 1 in 2019. The competitive spirit within McLaren, fueled by the Norris-Piastri dynamic, is set to continue into the new season.

In his sixth season in F1, Norris will stand on the brink of a significant milestone—his first Formula 1 win. With McLaren finishing 2023 in a respectable fourth place in the championship, Norris sees victory on the horizon. “[The first win is] going to be next year, and I’m with McLaren next year. I feel like we’re so close,” the Independent quoted Lando Norris.

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Expressing confidence in McLaren’s capabilities, Norris also highlighted the team’s progress as quoted by Formula Passion, “I feel like we’ve got more things to look forward to next year. We’ve finally got the wind tunnel properly going and so many things which are coming together more than ever.”

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As Lando Norris sets his sights on that elusive first win in 2024, the dynamic within McLaren promises an exciting season ahead. The interplay between experience and youthful exuberance, as embodied by Norris and Piastri, will be one of the most interesting aspects of the 2024 season.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Hi there, I am Veer and I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but somehow I never could fit into that mold.
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Edited by:

Aditi Krishnan

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