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Andrea Stella

McLaren boss Stella hails Norris and Piastri as 'more than just great talents'

With Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, McLaren has arguably the strongest driver duo on the current grid. Norris recently won his first grand prix, while Piastri won a sprint race in his debut year in 2023. Team boss Andrea Stella can feel lucky to have the driver duo, and he realises this all too well in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.

Norris Piastri Quali Imola
Interview
To news overview © XPBimages

In the past at Ferrari, now McLaren team principal Andrea Stella worked with drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. 

They are not unfamiliar names and are embedded in F1 history.

But as he looks to apply his knowledge to his role at McLaren, Stella highlighted that his current driver duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are not always waiting for anecdotes from the Italian's successful past.

"With every driver, you know that you shouldn't refer too often to drivers from the past. Often drivers talk about themselves," Stella said in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365

"Still, I have to say about Lando and Oscar that I am quite impressed with how open they are to input that they can use for their own development. 

“Sometimes this input comes from themselves having been exposed to these kind of collaborations. They need simple input, whether the source comes from that experience or not. 

“They are not only talented guys - what is also impressive is how clever they are. They have intellectual, analytical characteristics which is also one of the reasons they are F1 drivers.”

Stella highlighted that the success of a driver in F1 goes beyond having great natural speed behind the wheel.

“At this level, you don't just need the talent - you need pretty good brain power,” he said. “They are very well equipped. An example is how people deal with disappointment.

“For a champion, [it's important] knowing that disappointment is part of the journey and how you process it, how you extract the good things from disappointment to grow. 

“But somehow, it’s being conscious that you're not going to dismiss disappointment, you need to learn to live with it, because being a champion is always a bit of a curse. It's not a blessing.”

The latter statement is something Stella can judge like no other, especially since he experienced the golden years at Ferrari. He then worked not only with great drivers, but also with the strong people in the team's management. 

“[I worked with] Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Michael Schumacher, Luca di Montezemolo. From everyone, there are two or three features that I tried to learn. Certainly, these are some of the names, but there may be many more.

“I was lucky enough to work with Fernando Alonso, for instance. Not many other sport champions can stay at the level he is for such a long time. And this doesn't come out of a gift from the sky. This comes because of some characteristics in relation to pursuing constant development, and motivation and determination.

“It's not determination like ‘I want it’ - it’s determination that translates into ‘what do I do today to be better tomorrow?’

“That's the kind of strategy that you should deploy somehow, every day and see how you can get better and better every day.”

Stella is doing just that, as it turns out. Since he became the team boss at McLaren at the start of 2023, the team's results have turned around quickly. 

Where at the beginning of 2023 they were only allowed to hope for points, McLaren can now put pressure on world champions Red Bull Racing. Consequently, the Italian seems to have made McLaren a top team again.

Also interesting:

Is Ocon's future now in danger after the incident in Monaco? And has the track become too outdated for F1? In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. Tune in below!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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