Both drivers were complimented at the Autosport Awards ceremony in London for their contributions to McLaren’s fantastic recovery after the team started the year on the back foot.
Lando Norris was handed the award for British Competition Driver of the Year for his efforts which included seven podiums and a sixth-place finish in the drivers’ championship.
Oscar Piastri received the honour of Rookie Driver of the Year, having picked up a maiden sprint victory in Qatar and assisted his team in achieving a fourth-place finish in the constructors’ ahead of Aston Martin.
“I want to say a big thank you to all the fans for voting for me,” Norris said in a pre-recorded message. “This has been my second time being able to accept this beautiful trophy. The first was during COVID in 2020, but I don’t really count that so this feels like my first.
“We’ve had a lot of trophies this year, with Silverstone feeling like the highlight, and that’s credit to the team for the turnaround they managed to perform.”
Piastri on the other hand, was slightly briefer in his assessment of the season, aware that there is more work ahead to turn his Rookie of the Year honours into something more significant.
“Thank you very much to everyone who voted for me,” he said. “It’s been a remarkable year after such a great turnaround for the team after a tough start, culminating in the sprint victory in Qatar.”
McLaren have an excellent baseline to work with heading forwards, and with an upgraded car could challenge Red Bull from 2024 onwards.
It could be the crucial factor in helping them to retain Lando Norris long-term if they can prove to their star driver that they have the potential to fight for world championships.
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