Lando Norris responds to Oscar Piastri team order concerns after denying home podium

Henry Valantine
Lando Norris ahead of McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri.

Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris secured a hefty haul of points in Australia.

Lando Norris has said his podium finish ahead of McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri would have been the result of the Australian Grand Prix anyway, and the team orders that facilitated it merely sped up the process.

Piastri had undercut Norris to overtake him after the first stints played out, with the home driver running in third place until McLaren asked him to move aside for his team-mate on fresher tyres, to try and catch the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc later on.

Lando Norris responds to question about Oscar Piastri team orders

Norris had been running ahead of Piastri in the opening stint before the McLaren duo reversed their order after the first pit stops at Albert Park, with the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc out in front after Max Verstappen retired with a rear brake problem.

Piastri gained track position over his team-mate by pitting five laps earlier and undercutting, but with Norris looking to challenge Leclerc for second place in the closing stages, McLaren ordered Piastri to move aside for that to happen.

Norris could not launch a lasting challenge on the Ferrari driver and held onto third come the chequered flag, with Piastri finishing his home race in fourth.

Having been so tantalisingly close to a podium at a race not only in his home country but his home city, Norris was asked about the feeling of being the person to benefit from team orders while the home driver missed out from being among the top three at home.

Norris did not quite see it that way however, having already been ahead earlier in the race and saying he was “a lot quicker” than his team-mate, and the team orders enabled him to push on in his race.

He thanked Piastri for moving aside, acknowledged the importance of racing in front of home support but also explained his belief that the end result would likely have seen him in front of his younger colleague regardless.

“Depends on how you look at it,” Norris said after the race when asked if it was a ‘bittersweet’ feeling to be on the podium in front of his team-mate’s home fans.

“Like, I was a lot quicker and I would have overtaken him anyway, it’s just you don’t want to delay the process of that happening. recommends

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“And the longer I kind of spent behind him, the worse it was making my chance of catching Charles and trying to be ahead of Charles.

“So, I don’t think the result changed at all. He made my life easier and I think he helped us as a team, which I thank him for a lot and we have a lot of respect for one another in these kinds of situations.

“I don’t think the result changed at all, but for any driver who’s racing in front of the home fans, you want to be on the podium, so I don’t think I would ever take anything away from that or for what Oscar has provided and then helped for in the team, but I don’t think the end result changed, no matter what.”

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