Zak Brown opens up on ‘issues’ between Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren next season, after the Australian made a controversial switch from Alpine.

The Oscar Piastri saga was the talking point of the summer break in 2022, as the 21-year-old sensationally rejected the chance to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine in favour of a seat at McLaren, despite being an Alpine academy driver.

The Australian will face the daunting task of matching his new teammate Lando Norris when he joins McLaren, something that even eight-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo could not come close to managing.

Some have suggested that it could be a similar situation to the one at Red Bull, where many drivers such as Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly have tried to match Max Verstappen and had their careers somewhat derailed after failing to do so.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has suggested that there are no expectations on Piastri’s first season with the team, but he does believe that eventually the rookie should be able to match Norris.

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“I think Lando is as fast as anyone in F1,” Brown told

“I think in race-winning equipment, he’d be winning races, I think probably everyone would agree with that. So Oscar is going to have a teammate that’s one of the fastest drivers in the world. But I fully expect Oscar in time to challenge.”

Before his shock departure to become CEO of Sauber, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl claimed that Norris’ relationship with Piastri should be a harmonious one, despite suggestions that the pair could clash.

“Obviously each driver is different: different personality, different character and that could end up in let’s say a different relationship also between the two guys,” he said.

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“In the end, the way Lando is as a guy, as a character, as a person, as a driver, and the way we got to know Oscar so far, I don’t expect any issues.”

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Zak Brown has recently credited Piastri’s character, claiming that it would have been easy for the young Australian to have gotten involved in a war of words with his previous employers as the saga surrounding his contract rumbled on.

The Piastri saga was handled well by the driver himself, who released a statement outlining his stance and then allowed the courts to decided what would happen next while Alpine and McLaren exchanged verbal blows.

Tipped as stars of the future, McLaren boast one of the most exciting driver lineups in 2023, one that they hope will be able to lead them to championship glory within the next few years.