Brown: “doesn’t gets the credit he deserves”
McLaren CEO Zak Brown says Lando Norris is underestimated. For the coming Formula 1 season, all of Zak Brown’s hopes rest on his young driver duo. The American businessman explains that Lando Norris is improving exponentially and that Oscar Piastri should be a ‘sensational’ F1 driver.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown is delighted with the line-up of drivers the team will field this season. It will consist of Lando Norris, who he says is “not getting the recognition he deserves” and young Oscar Piastri, freshly recruited by the British team.
After parting ways with Daniel Ricciardo in late 2022, McLaren has opted to replace him with fellow Australian Oscar Piastri, a young Formula 2 champion in 2021 and former reserve driver for Alpine.
Team boss Andreas Seidl has also left the team to take over the position of General Manager at Sauber. Andrea Stella will replace Andreas Seild at McLaren. Lando Norris will begin his fifth season with the Woking team.
In an interview on the McLaren website, Zak Brown praised Lando Norris’ work last season. The Briton was the only driver not to be among the top three teams to achieve a podium finish in 2022.
“He keeps getting better‘ said Zak Brown.
“He does some incredible qualifying laps. I don’t think he gets all the credit he deserves: when it’s time to go he’s really impressive.”
“You know, there’s free practice three and then boom, it comes in qualifying when he has to do it in Q3 and you’re like, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’ And he often does.”
“He makes very few mistakes, rarely makes a big mistake. So if I look at when he started compared to now he has a very high level of confidence – but not arrogance – and he’s definitely one with the team and the car… if you look from season one to now, his race pace is exponentially better.”
“We have a great mix of drivers”
Zak Brown also explained that he is counting heavily on the potential of this driver pairing, the youngest on the grid, considering Oscar Piastri was crowned champions in both F3 and F2 in his first season.
“We believe that Oscar will be a sensational racer. If you look at his career so far he has won a lot of championships in his freshman year which proves we are dealing with a special rider you know he has a great mental approach to the sport and now we feel Lando has a lot of experience, we feel like we have a great mix of experience and youth,” explained Zak Brown.
“Our experience is also to have young people. I think we are very excited about the potential of our Lando and Oscar driver line-up for the foreseeable future.”
McLaren will unveil its new car on February 13, so the British team will be hoping to improve on last year’s fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship behind Alpine in 2023.
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