Breaking news: Oscar Piastri Contradicts Zak Brown to Address Potential Rift With Lando Norris. bb

via Imago

For the first time in his career, Lando Norris’s cage was rattled, and he was pushed the furthest he has ever been. It was smooth sailing for the Brit against his last two teammates. However, that all changed when he faced the Australian rookie sensation Oscar Piastri. This change in scenery in the McLaren garage has given rise to some tensions according to the boss, Zak Brown. Now, Piastri has finally broken his silence on this assumption.

After a slow start, thanks to McLaren’s failure to meet developmental deadlines in the winter, the team was given a new lease on life right before the summer break. The upgrades introduced in the middle of the season propelled them to the top, which made Piastri and Norris extremely competitive. However, this is exactly what gave birth to the supposed friction.

Oscar Piastri addresses the rumors about his stuttering relationship with Lando Norris

Piastri was lightning fast in the upgraded McLaren and even won the sprint race in Qatar. Norris was being pushed to the limit by the rookie, but it also brought out the best of him. However, to maintain team hierarchy and ensure the two are civil and not clattering into each other on the track, Piastri was subjected to team orders in favor of Norris. This is the scenario that made many believe there’s tension between the two. However, in his conversation with Autosport, Piastri refuted this suggestion.

via Reuters

“The relationship is still exactly the same,” said Piastri. “Of course, we’re not winning [titles] at the moment. So, it’s still very important for us to work together and help the team develop the car. But if me and Lando have got any additional info or directions on things, then anything we can do to help is going to help both of us.”
“In terms of data and stuff like that, it’s all completely open. There are no barriers or anything and that won’t change. We just need to make sure that our racing is respectful. But apart from that, it’s all good,” he concluded with a subtle warning.

The warning tells us the relationship is fine at the moment, but any instance of on or off-track disrespect can break it. However, Piastri’s comments still contradict Zak Brown’s assessment of the situation.

What was Zak Brown’s assessment of the relationship between the McLaren men?

The boss is always right, but not in this scenario. The McLaren boss was careful when he talked about any possible bust-ups between the two, which was very likely when they collided in the Italian GP. The rookie kissed MCL60 of Norris while exiting the pit lane at the opening chicane. However, everything was resolved with a quick internal discussion. This is the approach he wants to take and has been taking with his drivers.

via Imago

“It does make you nervous, but they’re professionals,” Brown said on the prospect of the two racing wheel-to-wheel. “They both have a long way to go in their career. I’m not anticipating anything silly to happen – and if it does happen, you tackle it right away, you don’t let it bubble. You see these troubles bubbling up and you kind of question why the teams din’t step in early,” exactly how they did after the Italian GP and perhaps after all the team orders Piastri had to follow.

With the boss saying he likes to nip things in the bud as soon as possible and Piastri confessing there should be mutual respect, we suspect from the next season onwards, Piastri won’t appreciate any team orders. Moreover, he would want to go toe-to-toe with Norris from next season onwards to showcase his racing mettle. Do you think this will create some friction within the team?

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