McLaren send Lando Norris message after being ‘hurt’ by Oscar Piastri

Michelle Foster
McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris in conversation after 2023 Japanese Grand Prix qualifying.

McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris in conversation.

Revealing his “hurt” as Oscar Piastri won in Qatar, Andrea Stella has told Lando Norris to embrace the “discomfort” as it will spur him to become a better driver.

After two seasons as McLaren’s lead driver when he destroyed Daniel Ricciardo during the Aussie’s struggles, this season Norris is under a bit more pressure from his new team-mate Piastri.

Norris has acknowledged that the 21-year-old is pushing him harder than Ricciardo did, that showing in McLaren’s results with the team-mates securing back-to-back two-three finishes in Japan and Qatar.

Lando Norris was ‘hurt’ as Oscar Piastri clinched his maiden win in Qatar

Norris was ahead at Suzuka but it was Piastri who came to the fore at the Lusail circuit where he not only won the Sprint race but finished ahead of the Briton in the Grand Prix.

Norris revealed it “hurt” to have his rookie team-mate take his maiden Formula 1 win while he’s still waiting for his.

“I think of the negative things way more than the positive things. It’s just me, it’s not like [it’s] a problem. It’s just the way I think, it’s the way my head works,” he told Sky F1.

“I’m very happy for the team, I’m happy for Oscar. He beat me to a win so congrats to him. Of course, it’s never the nicest feeling. It hurts me.”

Stella has told him that “discomfort” he is feeling will push him to become a better driver.

“Lando knows himself that Oscar is a unique talent – you don’t see these kinds of talents in Formula 1 every day,” said the McLaren team boss.

“So he’s an absolute reference, even if he’s a rookie, and at times Lando knows that he will set the bar very high.

“But if you are a champion like Lando is, you will have to take that from a positive point of view because he gives you so much information to keep improving.

“There’s no champion in the world in any sport that wins everything, or as a driver is faster in every corner, faster every lap, and faster every session.

“So for me, Lando sees this as a bit of discomfort, but it’s the discomfort you need to become the best in a way. It’s a curse and blessing to be a champion.” recommends

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McLaren have no issue with Norris challenging team orders

The team boss also weighed in on Norris challenging McLaren’s team orders during the Qatar Grand Prix.

Closing in on Piastri, who was running second behind Max Verstappen, Norris was told to “hold position” with the Briton asking why as he was “faster”.

McLaren repeated the order and the team-mates brought the cars home second and third with Piastri ahead.

“First of all, in terms of the message you heard, this is part of our protocol,” said Stella. “Because when we give drivers an instruction, we tell them challenge us because we want to make sure we understand your point of view.

“Like, challenge us, tell us exactly what you think. We will reassess the situation and come back to you. But once we come back to you, just respect it.

“And this is exactly what happened. We ask drivers to challenge us.”

With five races remaining, Norris is seventh in the Drivers’ standings on 136 points with Piastri ninth on 83 points.

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