Lando Norris fires shot at Daniel Ricciardo

Lando Norris consistently outperformed Daniel Ricciardo during their time together at McLaren, while Oscar Piastri has pushed the British-Belgian to improve.

The partnership between Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri might only be a few races in but, already, the pair appear to be aligned and determined to bring McLaren back to winning ways.

Despite a tough first race resulting in a DNF, Piastri bounced back in Saudi Arabia, pushing the MCL60 into Q3 despite its clear lack of pace compared with others on the grid.

If it weren’t for contact on the opening lap, Piastri might have secured points in Jeddah. 

However, the Australian didn’t have to wait long for a top ten finish, securing his first points in Formula 1 at his home Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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With Norris taking P6 and Piastri taking P8 in Australia, McLaren leapt from last place to P5 in the Constructors’ Standings.

Norris has praised Piastri for pushing him to do better through their inter-team competition, giving him more of a challenge that former teammate Daniel Ricciardo did in 2021 and 2022.

“Our comments are probably a little bit more in line than what they have been in previous years,” Norris said.

“Which is a good thing, just because it’s better a dynamic for keeping the focus for the engineers, the aerodynamicists, the rest of the team back in MTC. 

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“We kind of want the same anything in general and I think that’s a good thing.”

While Ricciardo delivered McLaren’s only recent win at Monza, Norris outscored his old teammate in both of their seasons together.

On the other hand, Piastri beat Norris in Saudi Arabia in only his second outing for the team.

“So, from both sides, the off-track and the on-track, it’s a good start and he’s keeping me on my toes,” Norris explained.

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“Certainly, what we see is that Oscar is close to Lando in most of the corners, like [in Australia] he lost a couple of tenths in a single corner, which gives references to Lando himself,” McLaren team principal Andrea Stella added.

“When your team-mate is so competitive, then he becomes a reference for you, and you take advantage like Lando is doing. 

“I would say this year the closeness between the two drivers is certainly much better than what we saw last year.”