‘Feeling the heat’ claim made after Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri collide at Monza

Oliver Harden
McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri during the drivers' parade ahead of the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri during the drivers' parade ahead of the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

F1 pundit Jolyon Palmer believes Lando Norris is “definitely feeling the heat” from rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri in F1 2023 after the McLaren drivers collided during the Italian Grand Prix.

Norris and Piastri made contact as the they fought over 10th place into Monza’s first chicane on Lap 24, after Norris had earlier urged the Australian to “pick up the pace” over team radio while running behind his team-mate.

Norris went on to finish eighth, with Piastri dropping to 12th after sustaining damage in a separate collision with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Is Oscar Piastri putting Lando Norris under pressure at McLaren?

Having comfortably had the measure of Daniel Ricciardo throughout 2021/22, Norris has found Piastri hotter to handle this year despite claiming McLaren’s only podiums of 2023 in Britain and Hungary.

After qualifying close behind Norris at both Silverstone and Budapest, Piastri announced his arrival in F1 by emerging as the closest threat to Max Verstappen’s dominant Red Bull at the Belgian GP sprint race in July.

Appearing on the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast at Monza, former Renault driver Palmer believes Piastri is pushing Norris harder than Ricciardo ever did – but Norris, 43 points ahead with eight races to go, remains on top for now.

Asked if their Italian GP collision will heighten tensions at McLaren, Palmer said: “I don’t see it, but Norris is definitely feeling the heat from a really good rookie this year.

“Piastri was at fault for their small touch but they got away with it and, thankfully for McLaren, they didn’t have damage – unlike the Piastri/Hamilton touch which was what ended Piastri’s chances of points today.

“So they got away with it from a team point of view and I think Norris is feeling some heat from Piastri, who’s doing a really good job, but I still think Lando has got the upper hand at McLaren.

“But compared to the last two years with the other Aussie in the car, Ricciardo, this is a very different prospect for Norris, who’s having to dig deep to beat his team-mate.

“It’s always uncomfortable when you have a touch like that, but at least they can look at the end and think that it made no impact on the grand prix.”

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Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher after the race, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was clear that Norris and Piastri must always put the team above their own interests when racing on track.

He said: “There should never ever be contact between two McLaren cars. There was contact, which doesn’t fit the way we go racing at McLaren.

“What is important is to have clear perimeter as to what you deem acceptable and what you deem unacceptable.

“It’s not an emotional thing. It’s just like you deal with other things, you deal with racing in a similar way. And this is very clear that for any driver, there’s something bigger than them. It’s the team.

“I need to review. I’m sure even the drivers will calibrate themselves for us in that situation.”

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