McLaren is hopeful that it can benefit from just how much new recruit Oscar Piastri is “challenging” the team to improve in his debut season as a full-time driver in F1.
Piastri will partner Lando Norris at McLaren to establish one of the younger driver pairings in the 2023 championship.
Norris, 23, already has the experience of five seasons at McLaren though, and he will very much be the team’s leader, or at least so is the expectation.
However, Piastri’s bullish attitude whenever he has interacted with the media and also the opinion of McLaren team principal Andrea Stella suggests that the Australian is keen to make his presence felt at the Papaya-Orange.
“We gave him some audio files to listen to of previous races,” said Stella regarding Piastri.
“The way he gets to the bottom of matters, even making questions – ‘why did you guys do this here? You could have done that’.
“He challenges you. In a very polite and constructive way, but he doesn’t take things superficially, he doesn’t stop challenging just to please. This is what we want. We want to be challenged.
“In this sense, he is a demanding guy who can help raise standards, by being almost constantly unhappy. Even driving on the simulator, you let him drive and you can observe the way a driver challenges himself in terms of finding speed.
“There are drivers with whom you have to guide the process step-by-step, while Oscar was pretty much able to go very close to the limit exploring his own resources. In this sense, he was impressive.”
Norris, meanwhile, believes that the attitude with which Piastri has approached his first full-time gig in F1 will help the team and personally push him more on the track.
“It’s going to force me to push the limit maybe that little bit more,” Norris said.
“It’s actually something I was doing last year, but it might just be that he’s able to push me more in different areas of my driving and that should only be able to help us take a step forward as a team and to also score more points as a team by the end of the season.”
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