When Oscar Piastri signed for McLaren earlier this year, the pecking order was quite evident, with Lando Norris clearly the leading driver for the Woking outfit. Of course, the Briton delivered a series of decent performances, subsequently fulfilling the team’s demands earlier this season.
However, in recent weeks, there have been signs of a major hierarchy shift, almost resembling the infamous 2007 saga led by Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Hamilton was a McLaren-bred rookie who was going up against a young Spaniard who was fresh from winning two back-to-back world championship titles.
Having made it into McLaren for 2007, Hamilton vs Alonso ignites – and so does SpyGate pic.twitter.com/0EpUnwPMyZ
— Manish Pandey (@ManishPics) January 8, 2023
Unfortunately, the mere underestimation of Hamilton came back to haunt the title-contending motorsport outfit, as the pair eventually destroyed McLaren’s hopes of winning the world championship title in 2007. While Norris and Piastri don’t seem capable of causing such a ruckus at the moment, the future might hold something entirely different and McLaren wouldn’t wish to take that chance.
Amidst such an insanely nail-biting rivalry in the making, former F1 driver Timo Glock admitted that Norris, with almost everything to lose, could be the one to pull the trigger on Piastri. Meanwhile, Piastri, flaunting a sensational motorsport portfolio, has so far portrayed a calm and composed face.
Timo Glock predicts the future of Lando Norris and McLaren
Reporting to Sky Sports, Glock opined that Norris might soon find himself under pressure from his own teammate who has shown rapid evolution as a rookie. “With Lando Norris, I’ve noticed in several races that he is annoyed on the radio or comes across as annoyed. You never know in the heat of the moment whether he means it,” he wrote on Sky column.
McLaren F1 boss Andrea Stella says it is “unacceptable” for Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to put “affirming themselves” above the team’s fortunes after their Italian Grand Prix clash ❌
Could this pairing become Formula 1’s next explosive duo? 👀 pic.twitter.com/QL229EWKhL
— Autosport (@autosport) September 4, 2023
“But it’s an issue because he now has a teammate who puts a bit of pressure on him and drives at his level. I’m excited to see how this develops because Oscar Piastri is getting closer and wants his chances too. I can understand that he is showing his displeasure by being strategically placed behind Norris. You can wait for things to get a little more restless at McLaren.”
Overall, teammate rivalries are starting to spur out of many teams, with Ferrari currently leading the charge. Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz nearly caused a double DNF at the Italian GP after ignoring team orders and battling for a podium. Meanwhile, a similar storyline was being scripted at the other side of the pitlane in the McLaren garage.
Hence, amidst growing pressure on Norris, will McLaren take a call on the situation before it escalates any further?