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Lando Norris

Norris provides opinion on Piastri's rookie F1 season

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were paired together for the first time last year, aiding McLaren to fourth place in the Constructors' Championship amid a mid-season resurgence.

Norris Piastri
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Lando Norris has praised Oscar Piastri following the Australian's maiden season in Formula 1 with McLaren.

Piastri joined the Woking-based squad after being at the centre of a tug-of-war over his services for the 2023 campaign between McLaren and Alpine.

The 22-year-old had spent 2022 as Alpine's reserve driver but opted to switch to McLaren when the team offered a deal for the following campaign.

Piastri scored two podiums during the year as well as the sprint pole position and victory in Qatar, helping to lift McLaren to fourth place in the Constructors' Championship following a slow start to the year.

Norris, who scored seven podiums during the campaign, hailed Piastri's efforts and how the rookie dealt with pressure.

“Oscar had an incredible season,” Norris said. “Keeping calm and being yourself, it’s good to be reminded of that.

“I think he's been very, very good at dealing with pressure, better than I feel like I remember I was when I started, but I think that’s because everyone's very different with all of this - dealing with pressure and remaining calm and chilled.

“I think that is something that I've gotten a lot better with over the years – I know how to deal with all of these things much better myself now.

“I have a lot of respect for Oscar in how he was able to stay so calm in a new environment, in Formula 1, on the big stage.”

'We're on the right track'

McLaren rose from back-of-the-grid competition to podium-scoring form last season, with Norris describing it as the biggest F1 turnaround of the last decade.

The team will launch its 2024 car, named the MCL38, on February 14 after revealing its livery earlier this year.

Norris is confident that the team will be much more competitive compared to 12 months ago when it hit the track for the season-opening Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“We’re on the right track,” he said. We’ve learned so [much] really over the last four, five, six months. So the progress we’ve made, we’ve learned a lot.

“We have some new hirings coming in, and although not everything that they can bring to us will be on the car straight away, there are some things that we already know now.

“I’m excited because we’re finally on the right track, and we know in which direction to push, and I just want to start the season off well.

“If we can start well in Bahrain, I’ll be much more excited.”

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