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Piastri Tips Red Bull as F1's 2024 Benchmark Team

Piastri Tips Red Bull as F1’s 2024 Benchmark Team

23/02/2024

Oscar Piastri believes Red Bull will dominate F1 again in 2024. Despite not detailing their lead, the McLaren driver sees them significantly ahead, marking them as the clear favorites for the upcoming season.

Piastri is convinced that Red Bull will set the benchmark again this year. The McLaren F1 driver did not specify the margin by which the reigning champions might lead, but it seems clear to him that the Milton Keynes team will be significantly ahead.

“They don’t seem slow, let’s put it that way,” Piastri remarked. “It’s hard to say. On the first day, Max looked very strong. I think Sergio also appeared a bit more comfortable today than he was yesterday, so they are definitely the team to beat.”

“I’m not exactly sure what their advantage is, but it’s probably enough to be comfortable. As for everyone else, I’m not sure, but I think Red Bull is definitely the favorite.”

“Hard to draw conclusions”

Nevertheless, Piastri believes McLaren is in a reassuring position, especially after last year’s challenging Bahrain tests. He thinks the hierarchy will be tight but sees his team close to the top of the pack.

“I like to think we’re somewhere at the front of the grid. I don’t believe we are in a position to challenge Red Bull at the moment, and I’m not sure anyone on the grid does, but I think we’re somewhere towards the front.”

“Without jumping to conclusions, given our past results in Bahrain and the handling limits we’ve faced, Bahrain is not, on paper, a great circuit for us, so it’s a bit hard to draw conclusions, especially after just two days of testing.”

“It’s a bit hard to say, and I expect there to be a lot of changes depending on the circuit characteristics. It’s very hard to know where the others stand at the moment. I think the only fairly clear conclusion for everyone right now is that Red Bull looks strong.”

“It can’t be worse” than the start of 2023

Lando Norris is also satisfied with McLaren F1’s performance, especially the progress made since last year. However, he notes that his team faced issues that still need to be resolved.

“I’m happy, it hasn’t been perfect, we’ve had problems, but it’s better now than next week. I feel better, the car is an improvement even though there’s still progress to be made. These are good days, but there’s a significant gap to the people in front, and we need to close it,” the Englishman stated.

“The mood in our camp was much better after eight races last year. Expectations are much higher because it can’t be worse than how we started last year. But things are going well, and I’m happy.”

Asked about the hierarchy, he thinks McLaren is behind Red Bull and Ferrari but worries about the margin these two teams have over the rest of the pack.

“We are clearly behind Ferrari and Red Bull. They are clearly ahead, but we’re not badly placed; we’re in a good group, but those two teams seem to have an advantage over the others.”

Piastri Tips Red Bull as F1’s 2024 Benchmark Team. Piastri Tips Red Bull as F1’s 2024 Benchmark Team

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