Oscar Piastri made his F1 debut in 2023, in what was widely considered to be a very impressive rookie season for the Aussie. However, F1 expert and former driver Karun Chandhok feels that the Melbourne-born driver failed to prove himself in one crucial aspect. This is what led to Lando Norris dominating Piastri in the championship standings.
“I think when you still look at the race pace, that has been his Achilles heel,”revealed Chandhok.
Chandhok feels there have been a lot of races where Piastri did very well in qualifying. However, that rarely transpired into equally good Grand Prix results on Sundays. In contrast, Norris was able to make the most out of sessions that actually gave points out.
Chandhok went on to say that even though Piastri was perhaps as quick as Norris on one-lap pace, he did not manage his race pace well enough. During races, drivers not only face the challenge of producing consistently strong lap times but also need to manage their tires well to maximize whatever strategy their team asks them to implement.
The management of race pace is where Piastri lacked as per Chandhok. As a result, the 22-year-old finished P9 in the championship with just 97 points. In stark contrast, Norris finished sixth with an outstanding 205 points.
Regardless, Piastri’s debut season was impressive as he definitely left a mark by highlighting his capabilities. Other than his two podium finishes, he also grabbed a sprint race victory in a season that Red Bull utterly dominated. Now, Piastri will hope for McLaren to provide him with a better car to take the next step forward in 2024.
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri looking to take the next step
Even though Lando Norris has been in F1 since 2019, he is yet to win a race. That is something he wants to change. He will now hope that McLaren can live up to the promise and provide him with a race-winning car. However, he may face some stiff competition from Oscar Piastri, who will also be looking to make his own mark.
McLaren showed signs of major improvement in the latter stages of 2023. As a result, most of the F1 community now expects the Woking-based team to field a competitive car to challenge Red Bull for wins. But will this spoil the team dynamic at McLaren?
Norris and Piastri seem to have a good relationship. However, they haven’t really competed against one another for anything other than points so far.
Hence, if McLaren do provide both drivers with a winning challenger, Zak Brown will have to step up to ensure tensions don’t boil over. That, however, could be difficult, as both young drivers are tipped to be future world champions.