McLaren F1 driver Oscar Piastri

Formula 1 News: Piastri thinks getting schooled by Norris helps him

(GMM) Oscar Piastri says he is not getting downbeat even though teammate Lando Norris is schooling him weekly in 2024.

Many are now regarding Norris as a true contender to take on Max Verstappen for this year’s drivers’ title, while Australian Piastri – although impressive in just his second year in Formula 1 – has lagged further behind.

“You need setbacks and dips to improve,” Piastri, 23, told the Dutch broadcaster NOS.

“To peak, you have to learn from the valleys. That takes time, but I’m competing against very experienced drivers,” he added. “Lando is 24 and therefore one of the youngest, but he already has five years of experience in F1.”

Norris has been wheel-to-wheel with Red Bull’s triple world champion Verstappen recently, and Piastri is sure he also has that potential.

“I haven’t come across him (Verstappen) much on the track, because he is so dominant,” he said. “I know that he fights hard, but I do not shy away from that.

“I want to beat everyone,” added Piastri, who is managed by his compatriot Mark Webber. “Max still knows very little about me, and that can be an advantage for me.”

Another reason for Piastri to be upbeat is how quickly McLaren has managed to re-establish itself as a true top team. “We wanted to close the gap with Red Bull, but we were aiming for the end of the season,” Piastri said.

“Especially in the slow corners, we have gained a lot of ground. Red Bull seem less effective on slower circuits with a lot of kerbs and bumps,” he explained. “But there is currently no circuit where we are performing poorly.

“And it’s helping us at the moment that (Sergio) Perez is scoring so poorly. It means Max has to do it on the own. So it certainly helps us that we have two cars at the front.”

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