McLaren can place trust in its drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to race fairly, says McLaren team boss Andrea Stella.
Norris and Piastri went wheel-to-wheel at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last weekend as they battled towards the rear of the field.
It was a difficult race for the Woking-based squad, as both drivers picked up damage on the opening lap.
They eventually crossed the line in 15th and 17th, with Piastri leading Norris having overtaken his more experienced team-mate late on.
Although there was little reward other than pride up for grabs while fighting well outside the points, McLaren didn’t intervene as the duo followed each other closely in a pack that also consisted of Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries.
“We discussed these things before the race,” Stella said. “They are extremely fair drivers anyhow, but if the car is papaya, extra care.
“And I really would like to pay tribute to the fairness of our drivers when racing each other.
“It was very clean. And we know that we can let them race in this sense because we know we can trust them.”
The team endured an unlucky opening lap as Piastri lost part of his front wing while going side-by-side with Pierre Gasly.
The loose piece of carbon fibre was then knocked by Norris, with both being forced into the pits.
Piastri displayed strong pace during the grand prix, as he ran on the same set of Hard tyres from lap two until the end of the race.
His performance came one day after he progressed into Q3 for the first time, while Norris made a rare mistake and damaged his car to drop out in the first segment of qualifying.
Stella denies that Piastri took a large step in Jeddah, stating that his performance is part of the consistent progression it is expecting from him this year.
“I wouldn’t say that he took a big step,” Stella said. “For me it’s going steady progress session by session.
“But, if you look back, he was already in FP1 he was a little bit more competitive than Bahrain then FP2 closer, then FP3 pretty much a match for Lando, capitalising in qualifying.”
“And then very strong in the race. For me, I see more the sense of constant progression, which is ultimately the plan that we have with Oscar.”
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