Norris heaps praise on ‘quick learner’ Piastri

After seven grands prix as McLaren team-mates, Lando Norris has given praise to Oscar Piastri

After seven grands prix as McLaren team-mates, Lando Norris has given praise to Oscar Piastri

Lando Norris has heaped praise on his young McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri.

The pair joined forces this year, with Piastri replacing fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo at the Woking-based team.

Piastri has given a good account of himself in the seven races so far, and in a car that fell short of its development targets over the winter and has since developed certain idiosyncrasies.

The 22-year-old has scored points on home soil in Melbourne and again in Monaco, with the latter seen as a breakthrough performance.

Piastri has earned admirers within the team and broader F1 paddock, not least Norris.

“Yeah, very good,” Norris told Speedcafe when asked about his impressions of Piastri.

“I think he’s come in and done a very good job as a rookie in his first season of Formula 1.

“He’s not done any silly things, not made silly mistakes; quick learner.”

Piastri has taken a slow but steady approach to the start of his F1 career, building up over the course of the weekend.

It s a mentality that has seen him grow in confidence while, on the flip side, has increased the team’s confidence in him.

The fact he has then been able to deliver when opportunities have presented themselves and shown he can be trusted to look after his car have bolstered his reputation further.

The approach has also drawn praise from team boss Andrea Stella and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, the latter labelling him a potential world champion.

Through it all, the 22-year-old has maintained a level head, absorbing the pressure that comes with being an F1 driver with apparent ease.

“He has a lot of what you need to be a Formula 1 driver,” remarked Norris.

“Smart, clever – you can tell he’s been brought up in a good way and an understanding way of scenarios he’s in, where he works.

“He has a good level of respect for everyone that he works with.”

Together with Norris, it has created a harmonious atmosphere within the McLaren camp, one filled with optimism despite on-track success being harder to come by this season.

While that was there to an extent with Ricciardo, Piastri has offered the team greater balance.

By his own admission, Norris has been pushed too, and with a knock on being that Stella has been able to focus on other aspects of the operation.

The new wind tunnel and simulator are not far from coming online, while McLaren has been on a recruitment drive in recent months, too.

A restructure of the technical department will see some strong names arrive at the squad in early 2024, including Rob Marshall who joins after 17 years with Red Bull.

The growth and early successes for Piastri are a fundamental building block to the team’s efforts to return to winning ways.

With Norris, it has a highly rated team leader, enthused and motivated to deliver.

Supporting him is a capable rookie, fast learning, and someone his team-mate rates and his boss believes is a world champion.

The raw ingredients in Norris and Piastri are there for on-track success.

It is now up to McLaren to deliver a package capable of maximising their talents.

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