How Lando Norris laughter caused blindfolded team-mate Oscar Piastri to crash

Jamie Woodhouse
McLaren's Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

McLaren's Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Lando Norris proved that a co-driver career is likely not in his future as he and McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri took on a light-hearted challenge full of collisions. 

Formula 1 may now be deep into its summer shutdown, but the McLaren duo were given the opportunity to scratch that racing itch in a different way. Instead of racing real cars, they had a toy one at their disposal.

The challenge was set by Burger King and Coca Cola, featuring an obstacle course which one of the drivers needed to thread the toy car through with instructions being passed by the other, this particular lap against the clock in a familiar feel for racing drivers.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Lando Norris leads Oscar Piastri to multiple collisions

Now, you are likely already thinking this challenge sounds incredibly easy, but wait, the reason one driver had to guide the other was because the one controlling the toy car, which happened to be Piastri, was blindfolded.

That meant he had to rely on Norris to guide him safely through the Burger King and Coca Cola-themed obstacles, which did not really go to plan considering Norris could not keep a straight face for much of the challenge.

There was a brief period where Norris controlled the laughter and gave some helpful orders to keep Piastri clear of the obstacles, but it ended with a shunt into a Coca Cola bottle and a final time of 47 seconds.

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While this challenge may not have gone to plan, at least McLaren are excelling on the real-life Formula 1 track, with their flow of upgrades for the MCL60 which began back in Austria having lifted the team into the ‘best of the rest’ battle with Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari behind runaway leaders Red Bull.

The most recent outing in Belgium though, despite Piastri almost snatching pole for the sprint and then claiming a solid P2 finish, did highlight McLaren’s lingering inefficiencies in low-drag scenarios as the Spa-Francorchamps track dried up on Grand Prix Sunday.

The season resumes at Circuit Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix from August 25-27, but with a visit to Monza following that, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella knows there is still work to do to address this weakness.

“This weekend confirmed that the areas that we haven’t addressed yet give us a reality check that there’s more work to do, and to some extent confirm that those areas need to be addressed quite urgently,” he told media including PlanetF1.com.

“This urgency, for instance, comes from the fact that the second race after the shutdown is Monza. You can’t go racing in Monza like this, so there’s urgent work that needs to happen at McLaren to fix the situation.”

McLaren sit P5 in the Constructors’ standings, 88 points behind Ferrari a place ahead.

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