Lando Norris tipped to face headache as Brit ‘may not be quick enough’
Lando Norris looking forward to 'different responsibility' as McLaren's senior driver
McLaren may feel Lando Norris “isn’t quick enough” as the Briton faces his greatest challenge since joining F1. According to F1 analyst Peter Windsor, Norris has already been affected by hotly-tipped rookie Oscar Piastri alongside him.
Norris made an uncharacteristic mistake in Saudi Arabia which Windsor has blamed solely on Piastri’s presence. He has also questioned why McLaren signed Piastri which could end up unsettling Norris’ upwards trajectory.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Windsor explained: “He did what Ayrton did at Monaco all those years ago when he hit the apex of the last corner and effectively broke the steering, and that was it for qualifying.
“Not the sort of thing you’d expect of Lando Norris, not the sort of thing we’ve ever seen from Lando Norris. I put that down to the effect of Oscar Piastri alongside a driver like Lando.
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“I think Lando’s concentration now needs to be focused in a different way and that’s not necessarily a good thing. I still question why McLaren, having got that Lando Norris/Daniel Ricciardo [partnership] – very smooth, very well operating team – have put this young guy who’s super quick alongside Lando.
“Maybe they think Lando’s not quick enough and the future’s Oscar Piastri?” The 23-year-old’s position at the team changed over the winter with Norris stepping up to a team leader position.
Although he regularly beat more experienced team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Norris was still given the freedom as the team’s junior star.
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McLaren continue to struggle for pace with the squad languishing towards the bottom of the field. But this has not stopped Piastri from showing flashes of brilliance as he edged out Norris in qualifying and the race.
Impressively, the Australian managed to get his team into the final part of qualifying as Norris exited in Q1. Windsor explained how the difference in his role in the team could have a major impact on Norris’ racecraft.
He added: “I speculated over the winter that I didn’t think that Piastri’s arrival at McLaren was going to be necessarily the best thing for Lando Norris, only because Lando now is going to have to be looking alongside him rather than in his mirrors – which is what he was doing with Daniel Ricciardo.
“And that gave him the presence to be Lando Norris and develop as the driver he wanted to be with the team moulding around him.”
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