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Piastri’s confident a “good working relationship” with Norris will bring McLaren “more towards the front”

Oscar Piastri makes his Formula 1 debut this year partnering Lando Norris

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Oscar Piastri believes he will have a strong partnership with Lando Norris, his teammate at McLaren. 

Oscar Piastri testing for McLaren as he partners Lando Norris
Oscar Piastri prepares to drive during Formula 1 testing at Yas Marina Circuit on November 22, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Oscar Piastri debuts in Formula 1 at the beginning of March when the 2023 grid take to the Bahrain International Circuit for the season opener. Piastri will make his debut with McLaren after the Piasco over the 2022 summer break.

The Australian has replaced fellow countryman Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after leaving Alpine. Piastri was the reserve driver for the French outfit last year after being part of their academy throughout his junior career.

With Piastri joining McLaren, it makes the line-up one of the youngest on the grid with Piastri having been born the year Fernando Alonso made his F1 debut. However, Piastri feels that partnering Lando Norris is a positive thing.

With the opening round of the 2023 season just two months away, Piastri has commented on joining forces with his teammate Norris.

Piastri confident in partnership with Norris

Piastri and Norris haven’t raced as teammates before. The Aussie said on the Australian podcast In The Fast Lane how he doesn’t really know Norris that well. Piastri elaborated saying:

“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times very briefly and we’ve got a few mutual friends in common. But yes, I’m looking forward to getting to know him, both personally and professionally.”

Despite not knowing each other very well, Piastri is confident the two can have a positive relationship. He feels their “junior careers have been quite similar” and the fact that they’re “both quite similar in age” will help their relationship.

Commenting on Norris and his F1 career so far, Piastri said: “He’s obviously proven as well in F1 that he’s a very capable driver and a strong driver as well.”

To reiterate this, Norris’ 2022 season was the best out of those not in the top three teams with him being the only other driver to achieve a podium.

Lando Norris on the podium for McLaren as Piastri joins
Lando Norris celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna. (Photo by Cristiano Barni ATPImages/Getty Images)

Piastri continued saying:

“I’m looking forward to being able to show what I have, but also there’s undoubtedly going to be things to learn along the way, and I think Lando’s a very strong team mate to be able to learn from. I think it’ll be a good working relationship.”

The Australian is optimistic that the line-up for McLaren will be a strong partnership, which will “hopefully bring the whole team more towards the front of the grid.” For Piastri, “that’s the aim.”

McLaren’s hope for the future

With two young drivers on the grid, McLaren have a less experienced line-up compared to other teams. However, Piastri is dedicated to helping the team move forward.

In 2022, McLaren battled for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with Alpine. Unfortunately for the Woking outfit, they failed to beat the French team.

For Piastri, he wants to “try and get back to” the days where McLaren were winning championships. The team’s last Drivers’ Championship win was in 2008 with Lewis Hamilton. Their last Constructors’ Championship victory was even further back in history in 1998.

Speaking on the history of the team, Piastri said:

“It’s something that I do have at the back of my mind, that I’m joining a very prestigious team, with a lot of success, and a great pedigree – that’s exciting. Ultimately, they offered me a fantastic opportunity to be on the F1 grid.

“I think the team is very motivated to try and get back further towards the front, as am I. I don’t want to be in F1 to make up the numbers, I want to do as well as I can and hopefully win a few things along the way.”

With such a tense battle against Alpine last year and a new driver in both teams, anything can happen in 2023. Will Piastri live up to expectations? And will he and Norris be able to take McLaren towards the front of the grid?

Headline Image: GettyImages

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