July 17, 2024

British GP: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastre mix up field – McLaren takes small steps

British GP: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastre mix up field – McLaren takes small steps

Max Verstappen looked very bored. At the obligatory Formula 1 press round following his eighth win of the season at Silverstone, the world champion had little to do but listen to the verbal banter of Brits Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton, who were second and third behind him.

“What can I say, both of them talk non-stop,” said the world champion, which was half-joking at best.

Verstappen will have to get used to the fact that there will be a lot of talk about Lando Norris and McLaren in the future.

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In second and fourth place, the 23-year-old Norris and his Australian teammate Oscar Piastre, a year younger, made their boss McLaren the team of the moment at Silverstone. In particular, the Daily Mail headlined that Norris “can now think bigger”.

McLaren team pass break

Of course, only the upcoming races will show what the silver lining at Silverstone is worth.

“I think we’re back in the game,” team president Zach Brown said, “but I think it’s too early to make a trend out of it.” Each racetrack on the calendar is tailored to a specific team: “So for now let’s wait and see Budapest. We’re taking small steps.”

So the boss is stacked deep, but with all caution McLaren can’t hide the presence of two hot irons in the fire. Despite his youth, Lando Norris is almost an old hand. He joined McLaren in 2019 at the age of 19 and has since competed in 92 races for the traditional racing team. He’s still one win away, but if you believe the media, that will happen soon.

The Promises of Lando Norris

Norris has shown genuine superstar potential, the Guardian noted, the Telegraph said Silverstone had “witnessed a changing of the guard”, and France’s sports bible L’Equipe called it “the promise of Lando Norris”. He found himself “very nice, very stubborn” but rightly noted that “Max is infinitely distant”.

Besides Adam Norris, one of Great Britain’s 500 richest people, McLaren has another ace in the cockpit. Oscar Piastre, the 2020 and 2021 Formula 3 and Formula 2 champion, is one of the best rookies in Formula 1 history.

With his hair disheveled and his cheeks flushed, Piastre couldn’t be happier about his perfect weekend. He would have liked to catch Lewis Hamilton, who passed him during a safety car phase.

The fight between the two youngsters within the team could unleash a lot of explosives in the future. “He drives me a little bit,” Norris said of Piastre: “I’ll admit it annoys me often, but ultimately it makes me a better driver.” So you need a fixed order ASAP? “No,” says team leader Brown, “these are young people, you have to let them drive.” Until unity turns against each other.

You may also be interested in: “Norris tickles King Max”: press comments on Silverstone GB

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