Norris wants Piastri to ‘push me more’ than Ricciardo did

2023 F1 season

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Lando Norris has set performance targets for his new McLaren team mate Oscar Piastri in their first season together.

2021 Formula 2 champion Piastri joins McLaren after the team ended Daniel Ricciardo’s contract a year early. Ricciardo scored less than a quarter of the team’s points last year.

“As a team we need a driver who does push me a little bit more, and hopefully that enables me to unlock even more potential from myself,” Norris told media including RaceFans at the launch of McLaren’s MCL60, the car he and Piastri will race this year.

“That’s what we’ve lacked a little bit of in the last few seasons. And hopefully that’s something that Oscar can add to the table this season, to push me, to help me find another limit of myself.”

Piastri did not race last year, having won the Formula 2 championship the season before. Norris predicts he will get to grips with F1 quickly.

“There’s nothing to worry about, I know how good of a driver is, so I don’t expect him to come in and take a long time to get up to speed at all. I’m sure there’s going to be times when he’s performing extremely well, and he’s pushing me to the limit. And hopefully we can use that to our advantage as a team.

“So I look forward to those times and I look forward to hopefully have some good battles with him and so on. And bring the team forward.”

Norris pointed out that until McLaren have a car capable of fighting for titles, it is the responsibility of their drivers to “work well together and push ourselves and each other to get closer to the target”. His first impressions of Piastri are he is “a lovely guy” and “a very hard worker”.

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However as “we’ve only actually worked together and been working on the same day probably a handful of times so far”, Norris does not know how efficiently he and Piastri will actually co-operate on a race weekend, and how their working relationship will compare to the ones he has had with his previous team mates Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Piastri will be Norris’ third team mate since he came into F1. He said his relationships with the previous two were positive.

“Me and Carlos still get along very well,” he said. Norris feels there was “a bit of a perception that me and Daniel didn’t [get along], although that was completely incorrect”.

“We were very competitive, we wanted to beat each other,” Norris explained. “So maybe that was the vibe that was given off.

“But we were guys who always worked together very well as a team. I think that was very important for us. Always we were happy to help each other, but at the same time always wanting to beat each other. That’s just the way it is between drivers.

“We were good friends, we had a lot of good laughs and so on. I think just what me and Carlos had, or just the level of respect we had for each other was just higher than what most people see between drivers in F1.”

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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  • 12 comments on “Norris wants Piastri to ‘push me more’ than Ricciardo did”

    1. Norris has officially become an F1 driver now – his ego has definitely grown to the required size.

      1. That’s my take as well.
        Pretty poorly worded and could well come back to bite him.

    2. “As a team we need a driver who does push me a little bit more”

      Ouch, that has to hurt Daniel a little bit. Not the most diplomatic of phrasing from Lando.

      1. A bit of cheapshot… can’t believe he said they were friends shortly after.

    3. Watch out for Oscar, dear Lando..

    4. and the oscar for the best supporting role goes to..

    5. Be careful what you wish for Lando. Not that long ago, Daniel was the giant killer.. now it could be Oscar.

      1. My thoughts exactly.

    6. Odd statement from Norris. Not so much in relation to Ricciardo, because he is completely right and Ricciardo’s contract wasn’t bought out for laughs; he was doing a really bad job. More so because he’s suggesting he hasn’t been fully committed to getting the most out of himself and the car. The very best don’t need someone else to push them to maximize their performance. They’re obsessed with perfecting themselves (often out of fear of failing, but that’s a different subject). Michael Schumacher didn’t spend hours circling Fioraro late at night because he was being ‘pushed’ by Irvine or Barrichello.

      Still, it’s probably not necessary to over-analyze his words. If Piastri is as good as many think, McLaren’s driver duo should be fun to watch. And that’s ultimately all that matters for us viewers.

    7. He surely is putting a lot of pressure on Piastri with these comments and I guess that was his goal. Don’t be mistaken. Norris plays a high level of mind games and Oscar will find that out soon enough. I would not be surprised if we’ll get to see fireworks between this too. Norris has a high ego and Piastri comes across as extremely cocky. We’ll see how that turns out.

    8. You guys are hilarious what drivers say, they are not exactly philosophers. If (rip) Christopher Hitchens was an F1 driver you say “Lousy driver but great with words” in Lando’s case, “Great driver but not good with words”. Relax and enjoy their skills as F1 talent.

      1. @dutchtreat Hitchens in an F1 car is quite the imagine. Any first lap incidents and being called to the stewards…… ‘will be investigated after November and then afterwards’. They’d have had to widen the monocoque a little though. His engineer would’ve had the toughest job imaginable.

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