Zak Brown downplays Lando Norris concerns

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has opened up on the inter-team battle between Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren Racing, has expressed his understanding of Lando Norris’s frustration over teammate Oscar Piastri’s victory, while also praising Norris’s growth in the sport. 

The British driver has been in the headlines for his candid remarks and comments regarding his pursuit of a maiden Grand Prix win.

During the last race in Qatar, Norris witnessed his rookie teammate Piastri clinching the Sprint victory, intensifying the pressure on him to secure his first Grand Prix win. 

This race also saw Norris climb up the rankings in an unwanted category, boasting the most podium finishes without a win. 

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With five top-three results this season, including a remarkable streak from Singapore to Qatar, Norris currently occupies the fourth spot in the rankings with a total of 11 podium finishes, just two behind Nick Heidfeld’s record.

Brown, however, believes that Norris’s frustration is a normal part of a racing driver’s journey. He addressed the issue by stating, “No, because I don’t think we’ve given him a car capable of winning yet. 

“We’re getting closer, definitely getting more competitive.” 

Brown further noted that it is common for racing drivers to feel frustrated when they believe they haven’t maximised their performance in a qualifying session or race, as was the case in Qatar. 

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He added, “So, I think he was frustrated there, of course, but I think it’s momentary frustration.”

The negative comments made by Norris have garnered significant attention in the media, prompting former F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg to offer his guidance to the young star. 

Rosberg emphasised the importance of Norris avoiding the cycle of self-doubt and criticism, saying, “I’m not good enough and I’m making too many mistakes.” 

Brown, on the other hand, appreciates Norris’s development over his five seasons in Formula 1. 

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He noted, “If we look at what he was like as a rookie versus now, he makes very few mistakes… His pace remains fantastic, and he’s definitely one of the fastest drivers in Formula 1.”

The upcoming United States Grand Prix marks Norris’s 100th race on the Formula 1 grid, with all of them spent at McLaren. 

Brown acknowledged Norris’s remarkable journey, stating, “His race craft is extremely strong… we’re giving him a car that’s able to get on the podium now on a more regular basis.”