Lando Norris says he is excited to see what Colton Herta can do in Formula 1 machinery while Oscar Piastri deserves his chance if he is ever called upon as a reserve.
As reported by RACER at the weekend, Herta will carry out a testing program with McLaren in a 2021 car to evaluate his suitability to F1, while Alpine also offered up Piastri as a potential option for McLaren to use if either of its current drivers can’t race.
Norris says the young talent getting their chance is an exciting time, as it will also reunite him with one of his former team-mates from junior categories.
“It’s good, it’s always good to have the new drivers, apart from never wanting them to be quicker than you!” he said. “They’re always welcome, it’s always good to have them. Especially if there’s two old drivers in the team, to have someone new come in and be there waiting is always a good thing.
“Especially Oscar because of how he performed last year in F2 is pretty amazing, so it’s deserved. And when someone deserves it they should be in Formula 1, they can just get unlucky with timing and everything like that.
“It’s always good, they’re good drivers. Colton I know very well and I grew up with him a little bit, so one of my good mates. So I’m excited to see what they can do.”
The off-track news might be positive but Norris admits McLaren could be in a tough position on-track in Bahrain after brake cooling issues limited the team’s running during the final test.
“I think we’re on top of it, we know what the problems are, we know what we’re suffering with and so on, but coming up with the perfect fix is always the question of do we have that or not? That’s what we’re unsure about really until we get to (the race) and put it all together.
“But the team back at the MTC are working hard – and of course a lot of the guys and girls here – to understand the problems, obviously why they happened in the first place and why we encountered them and then work on a fix for next week. But it’s not a simple thing, it’s quite a complicated area, takes a lot of work, a lot of time to come up with these parts and so on, so I think that’s why it’s a challenge to get it all here and in a good condition.
“It’s a temperature problem, so Bahrain being hotter is of course the spark for it all. But there are going to be other hot races this season, so it’s not just specific to here, but it certainly makes it a lot worse.”