Brown Criticizes Ricciardo & Sainz: Norris Faces Minimal Opposition for Years

McLaren achieved impressive results in the second half of the 2023 F1 season with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, with Norris finishing ahead in the championship and Piastri winning the sprint race in Qatar, and CEO Zak Brown credits their success to their competitive dynamic and similar feel for the car, which has also helped the team’s engineers and designers.

Highlights

‣ McLaren achieved impressive results in the second half of the 2023 F1 season, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, including a sprint race win in Qatar.
‣ McLaren’s CEO, Zak Brown, believes Norris performed exceptionally well partly due to the competitive pressure from his teammate Piastri.
‣ Brown also noted that both drivers have a similar feel for the car, which has helped the engineers and designers in choosing a direction for the car’s development.
‣ For the next season, McLaren aims to challenge Red Bull Racing more aggressively with Piastri and Norris as their drivers.


Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, they’re the duo that brought McLaren some pretty impressive results in the latter half of the 2023 F1 season. Piastri, the rookie, even snagged a win for the British team in the Qatar sprint race. But, Norris, he still managed to outdo his younger teammate in the championship. It’s been his best season in F1, no doubt.

Zak Brown, the big boss at McLaren, reckons Norris shone partly because Piastri was hot on his heels. He told Speedcafe.com that it was a different ball game with Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo. “Lando, he’s been pretty much unchallenged these past few years. Sure, drivers always give their best, but when you’ve got a teammate pushing you, you find that extra gear without even trying. It’s just how it works.”

Norris and Piastri: A boon for McLaren’s engineers

So, Piastri being a close contender to Norris, it did wonders for Norris’s speed. And, according to Brown, both drivers have a similar feel for the car. “They’re not just driving faster and harder, they’re complementing each other. Listen to them in the debriefs, they’re pretty much on the same page. That’s been a big help for our engineers and designers in picking a direction.”

Brown says there’s nothing trickier than when one driver wants to take the car’s development one way, and the other wants to go the opposite way. But, next season, McLaren’s got high hopes. With Piastri and Norris at the wheel, they’re aiming to give Red Bull Racing a run for their money.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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