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Norris and Piastri praise questioned by current F1 rival

Norris and Piastri praise questioned by current F1 rival

F1 News

Norris and Piastri praise questioned by current F1 rival

Norris and Piastri praise questioned by current F1 rival

Williams F1 star Alex Albon has suggested that people would not be talking about Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri 'quite as much' if McLaren had not had such a successful mid-season upgrade.

Back in June last year, sat P6 in the constructors' championship on just 17 points, things were not looking great for McLaren.

Norris and Piastri could not get their MCL60s to fire and the team were in desperate need of rapid improvement.

READ MORE: McLaren F1 star Norris announces official new 'exciting' partnership

Yet a hugely successful upgrade that Norris received at the Austrian Grand Prix changed the team's entire fortunes, as they went from the back of the grid to the very front – often being the closest challenger to Red Bull and Max Verstappen.

McLaren endured a nightmare start to the 2023 season
Yet Oscar Piastri (L) and Lando Norris (R) enjoyed a mid-season change in fortune

Driving in a less competitive car, Albon too shone in 2023 as he ended the season with all but one of Williams' 28 points to secure a P7 finish – their best in six seasons.

And although still adamant that Norris and Piastri enjoyed 'fantastic seasons', Albon questioned just how big a role the MCL60 upgrade played in the praise the pair received.

Albon: Piastri and Norris praise due to McLaren upgrade

"I get it. I understand why it happens," he told Autosport when asked if he finds it strange to get more appreciation now than he did earlier in his career.

"When I look at my career, I had a very good year one, which in some ways got me promoted a little bit too quickly. A little bit inexperienced and vulnerable in 2020.

Alex Albon claimed 27 points for Williams in a superb 2023 season

"Obviously, I had a year away and got my second opportunity back at Williams. But I never felt like I didn't belong in Formula 1. I feel like as my confidence has gotten stronger and I've become more experienced, I've been able to really showcase myself.

"I do find it odd," he added. "I think there's no such thing as a good driver in a bad team.

"For the same reason I like to mention Oscar [Piastri] and Lando [Norris], they've both had fantastic seasons. But if they'd never had that [McLaren] upgrade in the middle of the season, I'm not sure you'd be talking about them quite as much.

"It's the same thing for us but on a smaller scale. Last year, I was having fantastic races in P16 but no one would talk about it because it would just be P16 and in the middle of nowhere.

"This year when I've had a good race it's been in the top 10 and it's been talked about so your stock naturally gets bigger.

"But that's F1, you've got to be there at the right time."

READ MORE: Lando Norris to Red Bull F1 transfer fee revealed by McLaren boss

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