Norris highlights benefit of Piastri over Ricciardo
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 23rd April, 2023 - 6:00am
Lando Norris feels he and Oscar Piastri are providing a consistency of feedback that is proving a benefit to McLaren in contrast to what he previously experienced with Daniel Ricciardo.
The season so far has been a difficult one for both drivers given the limitations of a car which is forcing Norris to overdrive as he has been unable to get into a rhythm with the MCL60.
After a year on the sidelines as a reserve driver with Alpine following championship success in F3 and then F2, Piastri continues to shake off a level of rustiness as he finds his feet at motorsport’s elite level.
Norris, though, feels Piastri, who replaced Ricciardo over the winter, has “done a very good job” so far and is being challenged by the 21-year-old Melburnian.
“I think he’s understood the car well,” said British driver Norris.
“It’s obviously not an easy car to drive. I think that’s been made clear by past drivers and with comments I’ve made over the years.
“He did a very good job in Saudi (Arabia). He got into Q3 – the only Q3 this year so far (for McLaren).
“With regard to feedback and everything, our comments are probably a little bit more in line than what they have been in previous years, which again is a good thing.
“Just because it’s a better dynamic for keeping the focus for the engineers, the aerodynamicists, and the rest of the team back at the MTC (McLaren Technology Centre).
“We kind of want the same thing in general, and I think that’s a good thing, It’s clear from our side.
“So yeah, from both sides – off track and on track – (it is) good stuff, and yeah, he is keeping me on my toes.”
Norris ‘a good benchmark’ – Piastri
From Piastri’s perspective, he also feels he and Norris have a complementary viewpoint which is aiding the team’s quest to overcome the problems it has so far experienced with the car.
“Similar to what Lando said, we’re working in a very similar way in terms of what we want from the car,” said Piastri.
“That’s good for the team, particularly from the engineering side of things because it gives them very clear direction.
“I’ve definitely been learning a lot from Lando in terms of, not just how to drive maybe this car specifically, but also the way we do debriefs and attention to detail and stuff like that.
“There are always areas to try and improve, so it’s definitely been good to have him as a benchmark.”