Norris says Piastri is “pushing me a little bit more” than Ricciardo did

2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Lando Norris says that rookie team mate Oscar Piastri is “pushing me a little bit more” than former team mate Daniel Ricciardo did over the last two seasons.

Ricciardo was signed by McLaren on a three-year deal starting in 2021 but struggled to match Norris’s performance in both 2021 and 2022, leading to McLaren cutting Ricciardo’s contract short by one season and replacing him with Alpine junior driver Piastri for 2023.

In a challenging start to the 2023 season for McLaren in which the team scored no points in the opening two rounds, the team are now fifth in the constructors’ championship on 14 points, with Norris accounting for ten and four for Piastri.

Asked ahead of the Miami Grand Prix weekend about how it feels to take the role as a senior driver of an F1 team for the first time, Norris said it was “not too different” to the dynamic of racing alongside the more experienced Ricciardo.

“I think how I worked last year and how I worked with Daniel, it’s not too different,” Norris said. “It’s not like too many things changed.

“They lean on me maybe a little bit more for the knowledge of how we were in previous years – to kind of look at the development from last year to this year and things like that.

“But apart from that you both give your sides of the feelings and the story of what’s going on with the car, what you want from the car, which aligns very well. I wouldn’t say we have the same driving style, but our comments and complaints are generally always the same. So I think that’s a good thing.”

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Piastri, who is competing in his first year in Formula 1 after winning the 2021 Formula 2 championship and spending a season as a reserve driver for Alpine, has matched Norris more closely during races than Ricciardo frequently did during their time together. Piastri was only six seconds behind his team mate at the finish of last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix and took his first career points at his home race in Melbourne.

“He’s a lovely guy – a down-to-Earth, normal guy,” said Norris. “A hard worker and so on. So it’s good fun.

“[It’s] different, I guess, to Daniel. I feel like a bit of a contrast of Australian, but still good fun. He’s very fast at the same time, so probably been pushing me a little bit more than the past couple of years. So, yeah, [it’s] enjoyable.”

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2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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13 comments on “Norris says Piastri is “pushing me a little bit more” than Ricciardo did”

  1. To be fair, it would be tough not to push Lando harder than Ricciardo did!

    1. @sonnycrockett

      Two alphas occupying the same bit of territory and I don’t think he was a happy camper with it when the two were teammates.

      Lando’s comments whenever it’s about Ricciardo are interesting and definitely give a off 180 degree tone from Norris’s typical happy, always laughing demeanor; Although, we’re now seeing less of that as he gets older.

  2. Lando takes an awful lot of stabs at Daniel. There’s been quite a few statements made about how he was not challenged or matched by Ricciardo. Wonder if there was actually any bad blood between them while at Mclaren. They seemed like good mates before they became teammates.

    1. Spot on

    2. I think this could be because of Ric’s win in Monza. Norris was behind Ric for an entire race and probably didn’t like it that the guy who was much slower managed to get the only Mclaren win in years.

      1. @Sviat yes, after being given team orders not to try and pass Ricciardo.

        1. Couldn’t of if he was allowed, Dan was controlling the race pace, he could do that and knew it was what to do as a multi race winner unlike nando who has had two chances two win a gp and not yet taken the top step.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      5th May 2023, 18:49

      @todfod yeah, Norris can be a self-entitled stick. He comes from a very wealthy family, got into F1 and a top team from the getgo. He hasn’t been tested or been on the other side of the equation. Of course, when that happens I expect the person to return the favor.

      1. A top team from the get go? Norris has never been on a top team so far, just because mclaren used to be a top team, it’s not like we’re saying mazepin got lucky cause despite the lack of talent he landed in williams, a team that in the late 90s, early 2000s at best, used to be a top team.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          6th May 2023, 14:57

          @esploratore1 there’s a big difference starting with a team that you can barely score a single point for 3 seasons and one where you can score 160 points in a single season and fight for podiums, wins on a few occasions and hold back Hamilton for half the race…

          It’s the reason Piastri chose McLaren over Alpine, right?

      2. Wrong example with mazepin ofc, I meant any driver who started in a williams recently.

  3. And who is Norris pushing ( except his own barrow)

  4. Norris frustrated in the macca ,feels he should be in a better team..Monza win by Dan and not pitting in Russia where kicks nuts to Norris

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