(L to R): Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, McLaren, Silverstone, 2023

Piastri “makes my life tough sometimes” but I’m a better driver for it – Norris

2023 British Grand Prix

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Lando Norris was full of praise for McLaren team mate Oscar Piastri after the pair finished second and fourth respectively in the British Grand Prix.

While Norris converted his second place start at the chequered flag, Piastri lost a place to Lewis Hamilton, having made his only pit stop before the Mercedes driver, who saved time by completing his during a Safety Car period.

“Honestly, we should have had P2 and P3,” said Norris after the race. “Oscar did an amazing job all weekend, and he should have been P3 today without the Safety Car, so a shame, he deserved it.”

The podium was the seventh of Norris’s Formula 1 career, while fourth place was the best result of Piastri‘s rookie season. The latter also achieved his best qualifying result yet on Saturday by putting his MCL60 third on the grid, 0.372 seconds off pole.

Norris was the first of the two drivers to use McLaren’s major upgrade at the previous race in Austria. Piastri was only able to run it for the first time at Silverstone, and backed his team mate up with a strong performance.

“He’s been on top form all weekend,” said Norris. “He’s been pushing me an insane amount, which is a good thing. It’s raised the level of what we do as a team.”

Piastri joined McLaren this season having been the reserve driver for Alpine last year. McLaren hired him as a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo, who was dropped one year before his contract was due to expire.

“All year he’s been good,” Norris continued. “It’s not like he’s just turned up here and been strong. He’s been good since day one in the car and makes my life tough sometimes. I don’t always like it, but it’s a good thing at the end of the day, and it makes me a better driver, too.”

Norris admitted he felt for his team mate after he narrowly missed out on a podium finish. “I feel for him and the team,” he said. “We did everything we should have done to be P2 and P3.

“So it’s a shame he’s not sat here too, but he’ll have his chance. He’s driving very well. He’s doing a very good job. And if we can improve the car a little bit more, we can be here a lot more often. And I’m sure he’s going to have his fair few times of being here, too.”

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2023 British Grand Prix

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Author information

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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24 comments on “Piastri “makes my life tough sometimes” but I’m a better driver for it – Norris”

  1. So far this year, Oscar has proven to be a good #2 driver, just like his manager was:

    Close enough for the #1 not to fall asleep. Not close enough for anyone to make irrational decisions.

    1. What a load. He’s a rookie, one that has been a tiny step behind one of the best younger drivers on the grid well established in the team. As for Webber, he was past his prime by the time he got a decent car, & if he hadn’t binned it in Korea he would’ve been a world champ.

      1. Mark did bin it, though. No one else to blame for that.

        1. Yea, the reasoning for my original statement stands. Neither of the drivers are career number two drivers, Webber spent his ‘peak’ dragging sub standard cars into places they shouldn’t have been. Given the right equipment Piastri will be WDC, I would wager that he’ll be in front of Norris next year.

          1. What keeps Oscar from beating Lando right now? (besides the different spec cars in Austria)

            He’s been behind, consistently, all season.

          2. He’s a rookie. Do you really think that drivers don’t improve with experience ?

          3. They do, but so does norris. That learning experience doesnt stop when a driver is not a rookie anymore. Piastri isna great driver but he will have to prove being able to be 1st driver to become 1st driver.

          4. @Ross

            How many races did it take for Ayrton to beat his teammate? How about Michael? Lewis? Seb? Max?

          5. @proesterchen

            Senna – raced nobodies in his first years.

            Schumacher – is classified as some as the GOAT – he beat a World Champion in Piquet.

            Lewis – head to head with Alonso, both their first year in the car.

            Seb – was beaten by heidfield in the BMW Sauber. Went on the beat other rookies at Torro Rosso.

            Max. – beat sainz both rookies in Torro Rosso.

            So none of them are in the same situation where they’re coming up against a driver that is well established in the team.

            Piastri is a brilliant driver. Everyone around him who has seen the data says so, even his team mate.

          6. Piastri is a brilliant driver.

            Show me the money!

            As of right now, and based on the 10 races so far, he’s a really good #2 to Lando.

      2. Jonathan Parkin
        11th July 2023, 10:29

        Alonso could have equally been champ had he not binned it in Fuji. Despite growling all year that he wasn’t getting enough support from Ron Dennis, he so nearly proved that he didn’t actually need it

    2. Agree. Just like George to Lewis. Keeps them on their toes.

  2. @proesterchen : what keepsOscar from beating Lando right now ?

    Really ? He is a rookie, first year in F1 ! What kept Lando from beating Sainz when they were teamates ?

    Honestly, Oscar is doing an amazing job with a difficult car for his fist year. By far the best rookie of the last years. Future will tell if he will be Max materials or Riccardo material, but he is good, no doubt.

    1. If he were a Max, he’d have beaten Lando by now.

      1. @proesterchen

        Well, it really depends on what kind of teammate you start with. Max himself was “beaten” by Ricciardo in 2016 and 2017 (he wasn’t even a rookie then) and was slightly lower than Ricc in the first few races of 2016 as his teammate, but then proceeded to gain a significant upper hand on him pace-wise.

        I’m not saying Piastri will be a Max level driver, but it’s genuinely way too early (and too harsh) to pass such strong judgement on him yet.

        1. Max out-qualified and beat his teammate in his second race and finished his first year collecting 2.5x his teammate’s points.

          1. Verstappen wasn’t against a top driver in his first season!

          2. @esploratore1or

            You can’t burst Carlito’s bubble like that. You absolute meanie!

      2. Not really, because norris IS like verstappen, so what do you expect, piastri to be the strongest driver of the last 30 years to beat norris as a rookie?

        1. That’s back to the original Webber conundrum. If you’re good but the person in the other car is consistently quicker, well, then you’re a good #2 driver.

          Nothing to scoff at, mind you, but also not setting the world on fire.

  3. @proesterchen
    Max’s teammate in his rookie season was a rookie himself. The moment Max went on to be paired with a quick and experienced driver he found it much tougher initially.
    You really can’t compare Oscar vs Lando to Max vs Sainz.

    1. Max beat his teammate in his first race at RBR. (and their 3rd, 5th, and 6th race together, too.)

      1. @proesterchen
        If you want to be nitpicky, Max finished ahead of Daniel in their first race together only due to a botched strategy for the latter.

        One can say that Oscar also “beat” Lando in their 2nd (Jeddah), 6th (Spain) and 7th (Canada) races together in terms of the final race result.

        1. One can say that Oscar also “beat” Lando in their 2nd (Jeddah), 6th (Spain) and 7th (Canada) races together in terms of the final race result.


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