Norris wants Piastri to “push me more” than Ricciardo · RaceFans

Lando Norris has set performance targets for his new McLaren team mate Oscar Piastri in their first season together.

2021 Formula 2 champion Piastri joins McLaren after the team ended Daniel Ricciardo’s contract a year early. Ricciardo scored less than a quarter of the team’s points last year.

“As a team we need a driver who does push me a little bit more, and hopefully that enables me to unlock even more potential from myself,” Norris told media including RaceFans at the launch of McLaren’s MCL60, the car he and Piastri will race this year.

“That’s what we’ve lacked a little bit of in the last few seasons. And hopefully that’s something that Oscar can add to the table this season, to push me, to help me find another limit of myself.”

Piastri did not race last year, having won the Formula 2 championship the season before. Norris predicts he will get to grips with F1 quickly.

“There’s nothing to worry about, I know how good of a driver is, so I don’t expect him to come in and take a long time to get up to speed at all. I’m sure there’s going to be times when he’s performing extremely well, and he’s pushing me to the limit. And hopefully we can use that to our advantage as a team.

“So I look forward to those times and I look forward to hopefully have some good battles with him and so on. And bring the team forward.”

Norris pointed out that until McLaren have a car capable of fighting for titles, it is the responsibility of their drivers to “work well together and push ourselves and each other to get closer to the target”. His first impressions of Piastri are he is “a lovely guy” and “a very hard worker”.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

However as “we’ve only actually worked together and been working on the same day probably a handful of times so far”, Norris does not know how efficiently he and Piastri will actually co-operate on a race weekend, and how their working relationship will compare to the ones he has had with his previous team mates Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Piastri will be Norris’ third team mate since he came into F1. He said his relationships with the previous two were positive.

“Me and Carlos still get along very well,” he said. Norris feels there was “a bit of a perception that me and Daniel didn’t [get along], although that was completely incorrect”.

“We were very competitive, we wanted to beat each other,” Norris explained. “So maybe that was the vibe that was given off.

“But we were guys who always worked together very well as a team. I think that was very important for us. Always we were happy to help each other, but at the same time always wanting to beat each other. That’s just the way it is between drivers.

“We were good friends, we had a lot of good laughs and so on. I think just what me and Carlos had, or just the level of respect we had for each other was just higher than what most people see between drivers in F1.”

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 F1 season

Browse all 2023 F1 season articles