Oscar Piastri: No point ‘destroying yourself’ with Lando Norris trait

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

McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris in conversation.

Oscar Piastri sees no benefit to “destroying yourself in front of the media” when things do not go your way, with McLaren team-mate Lando Norris occasionally raising eyebrows due to his self-criticism.

Norris and Piastri became team-mates for the first time in 2023, McLaren bringing together the highly-rated rookie Piastri and their excelling young star Norris for one of F1’s most exciting line-ups.

And both drivers played a key role in the team’s remarkable surge up the order, with nine podiums scored by the end of the season, seven going Norris’ way and two for Piastri, while Piastri also held off dominant three-time World Champion Max Verstappen to win the Qatar sprint race.

Oscar Piastri sees no value to self-criticism in public eye

Qatar, however, served as an example of a race weekend where Norris found himself frustrated, the Brit on multiple occasions expressing disappointment over his qualifying performances when speaking to the media and using team radio, even saying “I’m so sh*t sometimes” via the radio when a Qatar track limits breach cost him P2 on the grid.

Norris’ self-criticism even led to Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle telling him “don’t be so hard on yourself” after he described qualifying as his “kryptonite” when he was caught out by the intense rain that arrived in Brazil for Q3.

But while Norris has insisted he does not see this mentality as a weakness, Piastri, who was noted for his seemingly unflappable nature in his rookie F1 campaign, is not so sure.

Pressed by Autosport on his calm and relaxed demeanour, Piastri replied: “I would say I’m very self-critical. For me, there’s just not any point, especially in self-deprecation, destroying yourself in front of the media. If you want to do that on your own, then sure.

“For me, just trying to find answers to things is the most important thing. There’s been some difficult sessions, some difficult races. But – and I think this also comes across in my radio – there’s no point getting upset or emotional about things you can’t control.

“It’s much better to try and fix things that you can control than just get upset about them. That’s always been my way of trying to tackle these things and just trying to keep a clear mind.”

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Piastri certainly impressed his McLaren team and the wider F1 community with his strong rookie season, moving McLaren to offer Piastri a contract extension which now keeps him with the team until the end of 2026.

On whether it was McLaren or his manager – former Red Bull driver Mark Webber – who pushed for this extension, Piastri clarified: “It was mostly from the team side of things, to be honest.

“I knew I was already signed up [for 2024], but it was a pleasant surprise for everyone to have the conversation of the extension a year earlier than what it could have been.

“For us, it was a no-brainer to extend it early. The team’s been on an impressive trajectory, I felt very welcomed and very at home now. So it was an easy decision on both sides really.

“Certainly, no pressure from our side to get it done so early. But definitely a nice thing to put your mind at ease for even longer than it was.”

Piastri’s McLaren commitment now runs a year beyond Norris’, who is signed until the end of 2025.

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