With Piastri’s prospects also being aided by the FIA imposing maximum 18-lap stint lengths, Webber admits that his driver must continue to enhance his race management.
“We still got a bit of work to do, maybe, on the race,” Webber told GPblog after the Qatar GP Sprint. “This was a shorter race today but it raced him a little bit.”
Nevertheless, Webber, formerly a nine-time F1 winner with Red Bull, acknowledges the positive step Piastri has made regarding his single-lap performance in recent rounds.
The 22-year-old has out-qualified Norris in the previous two rounds, utilising the much-improved McLaren MCL60 to bag his debut front-row starting berth at Suzuka.
“But the qualifying has been a good step forward,” Webber added. “I think adaptability, coolness and also, of course, he has to be prepared to always continue to improve each day. That’s natural.”
Piastri’s recent run has firmly embedded him inside the top 10 of the Drivers’ Championship. He currently sits ninth on 83 points, 36 clear of Lance Stroll below.
Meanwhile, Norris overhauled George Russell in Qatar and is now only nine points adrift of Charles Leclerc, who is eight points behind Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz.
The exploits of McLaren’s dynamic, young driver combination have enabled the Woking side to close to within 11 points of Aston Martin in the Constructors’ standings.
Fernando Alonso conceded ahead of the Qatar GP that Aston Martin must “accept” McLaren will displace the Silverstone camp amid the pair’s contrasting recent fortunes.
However, Norris has already set his sights on potentially chasing down Ferrari across the remaining five rounds of the 2023 campaign. The Italian marque boasts a 79-point lead over McLaren at this stage but endured a tough weekend at the Lusail circuit.