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McLaren star's 'Achilles heel' revealed by ex-F1 driver

McLaren star's 'Achilles heel' revealed by ex-F1 driver

McLaren star's 'Achilles heel' revealed by ex-F1 driver

McLaren star's 'Achilles heel' revealed by ex-F1 driver

Karun Chandhok has said that while Oscar Piastri showed a lot of promise during his rookie season, his race pace was not quite where it needed to be when compared with his team-mate Lando Norris.

Piastri, who took the 2023 Rookie of the Year gong at the FIA Awards Gala, enjoyed a fine debut season at McLaren with two podiums and a victory in the Qatar Sprint.

Yet when compared with Norris, on paper their season's looked rather different. Norris took seven podiums and amassed 205 points on his way to P6 in the drivers' championship, while Piastri could only pick up 97 points.

This came down to Sundays, according to Chandhok, where having qualified well, only Norris was able to get the most out of the car and push towards the top of the grid.

Oscar Piastri had a magnificent rookie year with McLaren
Karun Chandhok says Oscar Piastr needs to improve on his race pace next season

Piastri 'some way behind'

“I think the peaks were very high," Chandhok said on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast. "If you look at that day in Qatar, I think that was my feel-good moment of the season watching him win that Sprint Race.

“I thought his qualifying in Suzuka was a really superb performance, as was qualifying in Spa in the wet. He did a fantastic job.

“But ultimately, when you look at the points at the end of the year in his comparison against Lando, he’s ended up some way behind, which is fair enough as a rookie. You wouldn’t expect him to be necessarily an equal of Lando but he got 97 versus 205 for Lando so that’s less than half the points that Norris got.

“I think when you look at the race pace, that has been his Achilles heel. There have been a lot of weekends where, including the last race in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, Austin - there were a lot of races where he qualified very well but he didn’t quite have the race pace to hold onto it, whereas I thought Norris did a fantastic job of maximising the car’s potential on a Sunday.”

READ MORE: Norris reveals major McLaren F1 flaw ahead of 2024 season

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