McLaren issues warning to Aston Martin

McLaren scored a double podium at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix, with Lando Norris in P2 and Oscar Piastri in P3.

As the fight for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship in Formula 1 intensifies, Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, has issued a warning to the Aston Martin team. 

McLaren, which initially struggled at the beginning of the current season, has made significant strides over the past few months, setting the stage for a fierce battle.

The Japanese Grand Prix saw McLaren achieve its first double podium result of the season, with Lando Norris securing second place and Oscar Piastri taking third. 

This strong performance has opened up a 49-point gap between McLaren and Aston Martin in the championship standings. 

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Aston Martin, which started the year strongly, has seen its fortunes dwindle.

In an interview with Sky Sports F1 following the race at Suzuka, Zak Brown expressed confidence in McLaren’s ability to challenge Aston Martin for fourth place in the championship. 

He stated, “I wish it was closer [than 49 points], but we’re coming, and I think it’s going to be exciting. 

“We just got to keep doing what we’re doing, and hopefully, we’ll be there at the end.”

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Oscar Piastri’s third-place finish at Suzuka marked his first podium in Formula 1, and he crossed the line just behind his teammate Lando Norris. 

Despite out-qualifying Norris, Piastri finished more than 17 seconds behind him at the chequered flag. Brown attributed this gap to Norris’ experience in race management.

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Brown explained, “These tires are tricky to manage, and so race management is something that you get with experience. 

“He’s never been to this track before, so we couldn’t be happier with how Oscar’s driving. 

“When you do see that, it’s not a one-lap thing; it’s a little bit of experience in managing the race, but it’s great to have two drivers on the podium.”