Piastri 'definitely been learning a lot from Lando'
McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri says he’s benefitting from racing alongside the more experienced Lando Norris in his first season in Formula 1.
Norris has taken part in 85 F1 races his F1 debut in Australia in 2019, and his results have included six podium appearances (including second place in Monza in 2021) and one pole position.
It’s a strong benchmark against which to measure his performances for the 2021 Formula 2 champion, who spent a year at Alpine as their test and reserve driver before switching to a full time race seat at McLaren this season –
- Read also: McLaren rookie Piastri ‘keeping Norris on his toes’
“I’ve definitely been learning a lot from Lando,” Piastri acknowledged. “Not just how to drive this car specifically, but also just the way we do debriefs and attention to detail and stuff like that.
“There’s always areas to try and improve, so it’s been good to have him as a benchmark, definitely” he added.
“Lando is very much established himself in his career so far as a high quality driver, so even just working alongside him [is a boost], definitely. I can see that.”
Norris has been similarly complimentary toward Piastri in recent weeks, saying that the new boy was keeping him on his toes even just three races into the season.
“He’s doing a very good job, honestly.” he said. “He’s understood the car well, it’s obviously not an easy car to drive.”
Both Norris and McLaren principal Andrea Stella have suggested that the team is benefiting from the two drivers having similar styles and approaches, compared to Norris and Daniel Ricciardo in 2022.
And McLaren CEO Zak Brown has suggested that Piastri could be the next break-through talent on the grid, stating that “early indications are that Oscar will be on the same pace as Lando”.
“I feel like similar to what Lando said, we’re working in a very similar way in terms of what we want from the car,” Piastri agreed.
“We’re working in a very similar way, which is good for the team,” he said. “For the engineering side of things, that gives them a very clear direction.”
Piastri is the first of this year’s three rookie drivers to win a championship point, thanks to finishing in eighth place in Melbourne after a chaotic finish to the Australian GP.
With Norris also finishing in the top ten, the result boosted McLaren from the bottom of the constructors championship straight up to P5 ahead of Alpine, Haas and Alfa Romeo at a single stroke.
Now the team is pinning its hopes on a new package of upgrades for the next race in Baku in a week’s time, which the team hopes will address aerodynamic inefficiency, with the MCL60 still struggling from excessive drag.
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