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Stella Confident in Piastri Despite Norris' Lead

Stella Confident in Piastri Despite Norris’ Lead

18/01/2024

Despite Lando Norris finishing the season with more than double Oscar Piastri‘s points, Andrea Stella of McLaren F1 isn’t concerned. He highlights the Australian rookie’s progress during the 2023 season and how it could benefit them in 2024.

“I won’t be focusing on results,” Stella stated at the KTM Summer Grill. “To me, that’s not the important part. It’s more about understanding where we need to improve. In 2023, we saw with Oscar that we gained a lot of race experience.”

“What happens in a race can’t really be replicated in practice sessions, a bit in testing, but there’s no more testing in Formula 1. In a race, you might do 20 or 25 laps on the same set of tires.”

“A big part of your race pace and competitiveness is linked to understanding how you use your tires, sensing how the balance shifts, and what that means in terms of compensating with your driving, using the tools available in the car, like differential control, engine braking, and so on.”

“This is the experience Oscar gained in his first Formula 1 season, but we also need to think that from one track to another, one race to another, this experience never repeats itself. The amount of learning is enormous.”

“I see, with Oscar, that we need to capitalize on what we learned in 2023 and try to exploit that in 2024. It will be about accumulating this knowledge and using it wisely. Oscar has the advantage of being able to use his intellect very effectively to capitalize on this experience.”

“Finding his pace earlier” in GPs

Stella now wants Piastri to find his rhythm faster during race weekends, to be more immersed quicker. This would allow him to do more foundational work on degradation and management.

“Another possibility we have, for example with Oscar, is to try to be… he can be quick, he shows it throughout the weekend. The sooner we become fast in a weekend, as much as possible, the sooner we can move to other tasks to be as well prepared as possible for the race.”

“Finding his pace earlier in practice will give him a bit of a head start compared to now, where it takes two or three sessions to reach top speed. So, there are a lot of things we can do. That’s our goal. If we do this, you’ll see the results will come to us.”

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