McLaren star Lando Norris was out-qualified by teammate Oscar Piastri at the Japanese Grand Prix – and the Brit appeared to be annoyed by the result in Formula 1 qualifying. The unexpected performance by Piastri saw him place his McLaren on the front row, while Norris was P3.
At Suzuka on Saturday, Piastri qualified in second with only two-time world champion Max Verstappen beating the Australian to secure pole. Piastri did enough to pip Norris to the line, and the result may have caused some tension between the teammates.
Piastri’s performance in Japan will excite fans looking to enjoy a thrilling race. McLaren added upgrades ahead of this weekend, and the results are clearly showing as both Piastri and Norris starred in qualifying.
Given Piastri is a rookie and has competed admirably with Norris, it’s easy to understand why the Brit may be frustrated. According to a panelist from BBC, Norris appeared visibly annoyed by Piastri’s impressive performance in Japan.
Perhaps Norris is feeling the pressure from his rookie teammate, who has immensely boosted his chances of securing a maiden podium in Formula 1. The Brit may also now face the challenge of being aggressively pursued by Sergio Perez, who will lead his Red Bull from P5.
“Happy, yeah,” Piastri said after securing a spot on the front row in qualifying. “I think the last lap could’ve been a bit better but it wouldnt have been enough to change my position so happy with P2, definitely.
“I feel like I’ve been making progress through the weekend – I feel like as a team we’ve made progress too. I think we definitely found some pace overnight so, so yeah very happy.”
On F1’s chequered flag podcast, Benjamin spoke about Norris and said: “I was reading his body language. I think Norris was a bit annoyed with outqualifying Piastri.”
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If Norris is frustrated, he has a contractual obligation to stay with McLaren until 2025. Meanwhile, Piastri was recently extended to 2026, ensuring the duo will remain teammates for the foreseeable future.
However, the situation between the teammates-turned-rivals could turn intense should Piastri continue to challenge Norris. It would make for thrilling racing for fans to watch, but the excitement could be damaging to harmony within McLaren.
Piastri and Norris will go head to head in the Japanese Grand Prix, which takes place on Sunday.
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