McLaren: Piastri “more awareness of his ability” after F1 race in Miami

Following collision that caused the Australian's race to be halted, McLaren team manager Andrea Stella believes that Lando Norris's first Formula 1 victory in Miami will also help Oscar Piastri.

(Motorsports news) Of the two McLaren drivers, Piastri got off to a stronger start in Miami, pushing his way past Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, and Norris when the latter went straight on in the opening circuit.

Despite not having all of Norris’s MCL38’s modifications, Piastri showed excellent speed from the start, passing Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari to take second place behind Max Verstappen’s McLaren.

But Norris was the one who shot to the top, delaying his one and only pit stop until a mid-race safety car allowed the British driver to make a free stop. Norris then went on to dominate the race from the restart, securing an emphatic maiden victory.

Sainz was penalized for making contact with Piastri during the battle for fourth place. As a result, the Australian had to pit for a new front wing and finished in 13th place.

Stella thinks Piastri will gain courage from his performance beside Norris last weekend in a slower McLaren before getting the same specification as Norris in Imola, even though his own race ended in tragedy.

“I think Oscar comes out of this weekend even more conscious of his strengths as a driver,” Stella stated.

Since he lacked the complete set, we already knew how quick he is on a single lap. Allow me to give Oscar due credit: the qualifying distance between him and Lando was less than the difference in his package.

“So, he was really pulling off strong performance over a single lap in very difficult conditions like all drivers said with the soft tyres.”

Stella went on, “He had another excellent race performance. Before, Lando said something quite kind, stating that he felt like “Wow, we are actually there today” as he watched Oscar pass a Ferrari.

“He leaves this weekend with this level of belief, particularly with race pace, which is something we wanted to enhance after looking at China and Japan. He’s in a pretty strong place, in my opinion.”

Stella also gave Piastri credit for not raising a fuss when she was informed that Norris would receive first dibs on the complete upgrading package, which also included updated sidepods and a floor.

“He has proven once again how strong a team player he is, because clearly when I told him, ‘Oscar we are going to give the sidepods and the floor to Lando’, he wasn’t the happiest in the bottom of his heart,” added Stella.

However, he never asked why or made this decision difficult. Like everyone surrounding Oscar, he was quick to show his support after understanding the justification.”

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