Lando Norris reckons McLaren relies on him more for Formula 1 car development compared to previous years, as he has experience racing its previous machines and Oscar Piastri does not.
In 2023, Norris is the more experienced driver in McLaren’s line-up as Piastri conducts his rookie campaign – having previously been partnered with Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo – which is a new experience for the Briton since he joined F1 in 2019.
Although McLaren has started the current season off the pace compared to its desired performance targets thanks to its MCL60 car being too draggy and particularly struggling when its drivers are running off-throttle and not braking, the team has been working to address its current weaknesses with a series of updates.
Norris revealed his belief that McLaren was using his knowledge more than in previous years as part of that process when asked about the dynamics of working with a rookie team-mate and how it felt to be the veteran in a pairing by Motorsport.com at the recent Miami Grand Prix.
“It's a good vibe,” Norris replied. “What's it like? Honestly, just as a genuine answer, it's not too different.
“I think how I worked last year, and how I worked with Daniel, it's not too different. [It's] not like too many things change.
“Maybe they lean on me a little bit more for the knowledge of how we were in previous years, to look at the development from last year to this year and things like that.
“But apart from that, you both give your sides of the feelings and the story of what's going on to the car, what you want from the car – which aligns very well.
“I wouldn't say we have the same driving style, but our comments and complaints are generally always the same. So, I think that's a good thing.
“He's a lovely guy, down to earth, normal guy, hard worker and so on. So, it's good, fun.
“Different, I guess to Daniel. I feel like a bit of a contrast of Australian but still good fun.”
Norris also stated that Piastri is “very fast at the same time” and has “probably been pushing me a little bit more than the past couple years” – an indirect reference to Ricciardo’s struggles to succeed at McLaren, other than in his one-off victory in the 2021 Italian GP.