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Piastri will be a "big challenge", admits Norris

NEWS STORY
04/09/2022

Insisting that things are "still great" with Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris admits that he is relishing the arrival of Oscar Piastri in 2023.

Whatever the whys and wherefores, the fact is that McLaren has secured the services of Alpine protege Oscar Piastri, and next season the French youngster will line up on the grid alongside Lando Norris.

Having begun his F1 career in 2019 with McLaren, where he was partnered with the more experienced Carlos Sainz, 2023 will see the British driver effectively become the de facto number one at the Woking team.

"I don't think it's a big change honestly," says Norris. "I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, I'm confident, I'm happy in the place I am.

"I look forward to working with someone new," he adds, "it's different, you have to talk in a different way and understand each other differently.

"It's also going to be a big challenge for me, a new challenge for me and the whole team. We look forward to it.

"I don't actually know Oscar too well," he admits, "I've only spoken to him twice ever, I would say. But he's obviously a good talent, a good driver and I look forward to that. But that's still half a year away."

Having endured a social media backlash after saying he had no sympathy for his current teammate's plight, Norris is at pains to make clear his relationship with the Australian is good and there is no bad feeling within the team.

"I think it's still great, even from Daniel's side," he tells Sky Sports. "From what I've seen in my whole life, you understand when people put in effort and when people don't care. You can see how much Daniel tries to understand it all and put the time and effort into going quicker and so on.

"Everyone's still motivated," he adds, "Daniel's probably still motivated as ever to end on a high and end on a good run with the team. That's what you want to do as a driver, you want to prove yourself. It's still good, the mechanics are loving it.

"The team is energised. It's tough, when you're battling for P10 and P12, it's not what you want," he admits. "But there are still glimpses of 'this is where we can be if we do little things better'. I'm confident in the future we can do that."

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