Why Red Bull is worried about Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri

McLaren’s recent resurgence has put the team on Red Bull’s radar ahead of the 2024 season, with the Papaya outfit determined to win a title again.

Dr. Helmut Marko, a prominent figure within the Formula 1 community, has highlighted McLaren as a potential threat to Red Bull’s current Formula 1 supremacy in the 2024 season. 

His observations come in the wake of McLaren’s remarkable resurgence during this campaign, following a somewhat lacklustre start in 2023. 

Oscar Piastri’s victory in the Qatar sprint race, starting from pole position, and Lando Norris’s strong performance have placed McLaren in a more prominent position within the championship.

Marko acknowledged McLaren’s growing presence, stating, “They are our most regular pursuers now, and they are still gaining momentum.” 

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The Red Bull team advisor shared his perspective with the Kronen Zeitung publication, emphasising McLaren’s rising prominence in the sport.

Andrea Stella, McLaren’s team leader, did not dispute Marko’s assessment. 

He expressed, “It was a very positive weekend for us. 

“We are the second-fastest car, and that is really good for the future. 

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“I’m happy that we can contribute to the spectacle of making Formula 1 more exciting.”

Marko also revealed that Red Bull had been closely monitoring McLaren’s performance throughout the Qatar event, even amidst Max Verstappen’s dominant season. 

He explained, “We set our pace according to McLaren. 

“This is noteworthy, and it’s scary that it happens on every circuit now. 

“It could possibly be a tough battle with them next year. 

“The others couldn’t keep up with McLaren and us,” he added, primarily referring to Red Bull’s primary rivals, Mercedes and Ferrari.

Italy’s Corriere dello Sport publication offered its perspective, deeming the sight of Verstappen alongside the Australian newcomer Piastri and Norris on the podium as “the podium of the future.” 

However, Ferrari’s team principal, Frederic Vasseur, maintained a cautious outlook. 

He conceded, “I would say that McLaren is now the second fastest team, but Qatar and Suzuka have common characteristics, with a succession of fast corners. 

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“We were probably better than McLaren in Monza and Singapore. 

“So let’s wait and see for the next races, starting with Austin. 

“That circuit has a mix of everything, so we can understand where we really stand.”