Lando Norris responds to Oscar Piastri team order concerns after denying home podium

According to Lando Norris, his podium finish ahead of Oscar Piastri, his McLaren teammate, would have happened in any case at the Australian Grand Prix; the team directives that made it possible only sped up the process.

After the first stints concluded, Piastri outperformed Norris to pass him. The home driver was in third position when McLaren asked him to make way for his teammate who was using new tires so they could later try to catch Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

Lando Norris responds to question about Oscar Piastri team orders

Before the McLaren pair reversed their order after the first pit stops at Albert Park, with the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc out in front after Max Verstappen retired with a rear brake issue, Norris had been leading Piastri in the opening stint.

By pitting five laps ahead of his teammate and undercutting, Piastri was able to gain track position; however, McLaren ordered Piastri to move aside so that Norris could challenge Leclerc for second place in the final stages.

At the finish line, Norris was able to hold onto third place after failing to mount a sustained challenge to the Ferrari driver, while Piastri finished fourth in his home race.

After coming agonizingly close to a podium in a race held in both his home nation and city, Norris was questioned about what it felt like to follow team orders while the home driver missed out on finishing in the top three at home.

Though he claimed to be “a lot quicker” than his teammate and to have already gained an advantage early in the race, Norris did not quite see it that way. He was able to continue racing because of the team’s orders.

While acknowledging the significance of racing in front of home support and thanking Piastri for stepping aside, he also expressed his belief that he would have ultimately placed ahead of his younger colleague.

After the race, when asked if it was a “bittersweet” feeling to be on the podium in front of his teammate’s home fans, Norris replied, “Depends on how you look at it.”

Like, you don’t want to impede the process of that happening because I was much faster and would have passed him anyhow.

“And the more time I kind of spent trailing him, the worse it got for me to try to catch up to Charles and get ahead of him.

So, I don’t believe the outcome has altered in any way. We have a great deal of respect for one another in these kinds of circumstances, and he made my life easier and, in my opinion, helped us as a team.

“I don’t think the outcome changed in the slightest, but any driver competing in front of their home crowd wants to finish on the podium. I don’t think I would ever take that away from that, or from Oscar’s contributions to the team afterward, but I don’t think the outcome changed in the slightest.”

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