McLaren Team Principal Andreas Stella has described where Lando
Norris has recently improved as a driver. Norris is enjoying a
strong Formula 1 campaign with seven podiums to his name as McLaren
continues its strong recovery this season. The Woking-based squad
started the year on the back foot but has successfully developed
its car throughout the campaign. It has often been the second
fastest car behind Red Bull at recent events, with Norris
challenging Max Verstappen for the lead of the race early on last
time out in Brazil. Stella has highlighted that the development of
the MCL60 car is playing to Norris’ strengths. Piastri struggles
“We are gradually acknowledging the fact that it looks like
together with the Singapore upgrade we have also been able to cash
in some improved capability to limit tyre degradation,” Stella told
media including RacingNews365. “We have observed this behaviour for
enough races to say it is a consistent pattern. So I think partly
this is coming from the car. “At the same time, I think Lando
having a car that allows him to do a little bit more of what he
wants. I think he’s taking advantage in order to stress tyres tires
less “So I think the main enabler was the development of the car.
“Then as soon as the car allows you to do something [that] the
drivers understand how to [do], you get further advantage out of
that.” Norris has more often than not had the measure of team-mate
Oscar Piastri during the season, especially in race pace, with
Stella believing that Piastri’s struggles are nothing out of the
ordinary for a driver in their first F1 season. “I think we see a
little bit less of that with Oscar for a couple of reasons,” he
said. “One is that in sprint events with Oscar, this was once again
his first long run in a new track as a rookie [in Brazil]. “And
when you have so much tyre degradation, it’s always tricky to
actually manage that. “Also I think it’s part of the race craft,
part of the toolbox that you [need to] develop experience.”

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