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Zak Brown Snaps Norris Back to Reality Moments After McLaren Star’s Grave Threat for Verstappen

Published 09/24/2023, 4:52 AM EDT

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Now, if you’ve been napping this season, you might have missed McLaren’s Cinderella story. Starting with, let’s call them ‘character-building’ scoreless races, they’ve now transformed their MCL60, cruising it to the status of – more or less – the grid’s second-best car, trailing only behind the mighty Red Bull’s RB19. While Lando Norris was a breezy 19 seconds behind the unstoppable Verstappen leading at the Japanese GP, Oscar Piastri kept it cool, finishing a comfy distance ahead of Charles Leclerc to get his first-ever F1 podium.

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If there’s one thing Formula 1 fans love, it’s a bit of friendly competition, both on and off the track. Lando Norris, after nailing a stellar P2 finish in Suzuka, had a cheeky message for Red Bull on the team radio. With the taste of champagne still fresh on his lips, Norris beamed, “Nice job guys. Double podium. We’re coming for Red Bull! Thank you to everyone in the factory, and everyone at the track, I love you all. Another one. Let’s keep it rolling.”


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Now, before the McLaren garage could even start celebrating their double podium with Norris and Oscar Piastri, Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, brought in a gentle reality check. It seems Brown was taking a more tempered approach, echoing a tweet from @JunaidSamodien_: “Zak Brown: We are not going to catch them [Red Bull] this year, but we are chipping away. Max was dominant today. We should be quick again in Qatar.”

While Norris is clearly enjoying the high of the moment (and who can blame him?), Brown’s sobering take might just be what McLaren needs to keep their heads down and continue pushing. After all, the battle with Red Bull is intense, and every point counts.

So, will the Woking-based team be the dark horse catching up with the Bulls, or will Red Bull continue to dominate the season? Only time will tell.

That said, the euphoria at McLaren is palpable, and rightly so. The duo of Norris and Piastri celebrated a memorable double podium at Suzuka. It wasn’t just another race day but a significant milestone for the McLaren team.

Post-race thoughts: With Lando Norris 


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Well, wasn’t that something at Suzuka? McLaren’s Norris and newbie Oscar Piastri played the podium duet, securing second and third places respectively. That’s McLaren’s debut double podium for the season, and boy, what a sight!

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An ecstatic Norris gushed post-race, “Another amazing day for us. P2 and P3, so we couldn’t have asked for any more. The progress we’ve made is pretty outstanding. I’m sure there’s gonna be some tough times to come. But we’re getting there step by step. And our first double podium together with Oscar. So yeah, a good moment for us.”


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In today’s racing spectacle, McLaren truly shone with its P2 and P3 placements. Their exceptional performance didn’t go unnoticed, as they nearly rivaled Max’s prowess on the track. And as the sun set, the celebration of their first-ever double podium, shared with the young Oscar, painted a picture of pure pride.

It’s McLaren’s world and we’re all just living in it – for this weekend, at least. Cheers to them, and here’s to more heart-thumping races ahead!

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Written by:

Pulkit Jai


One take at a time

Pulkit is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a strong academic background in engineering, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the intricate mechanics and technology driving Formula 1 racing. This expertise allows him to offer insightful analysis, exploring the technical aspects of the sport and shedding light on the innovative advancements that shape the world of F1.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar