It was a season of two halves for McLaren, one where they couldn’t even get into the points and then all of a sudden were fighting for podiums and pole positions.
Let’s take a look back at their 2023 campaign
Oscar Piastri joined the team ahead of the 2023 season, replacing Daniel Ricciardo who would move to Red Bull as their ‘third driver’, which we know know means getting a seat at Alpha Tauri midway through the season.
He would partner Lando Norris who was embarking on becoming the team’s out-and-out first driver, using his F1 experience so far to give Piastri a helping hand as he settled into F1.
The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix was a disaster for the team. Norris would finish down in 17th place, two laps down while Piastri retired on Lap 13 with an electrical issue.
Things didn’t get much better at the next round in Saudi Arabia were the team finished 15th and 17th, however, they did manage to score their first points of the season in Australia with Norris finishing 6th and Piastri in 8th.
The challenging season would continue, with the odd points-scoring finish and only the one double points finish from the race in Australia until the British Grand Prix, when everything changed.
With a special chrome livery, Norris would qualify in second place, with Piastri in third, an impressive moment for the team who were struggling to keep up with the midfield.
It wasn’t a one-off either as Norris held on to second place in the race, with Piastri finishing in fourth.
A second podium followed for Norris in Hungary, before the started slowly falling back down the order with a few retirements and low points-scoring finishes.
Their form picked up again in Singapore when Norris claimed yet another podium, before doing the same in the following race in Japan, where he was joined on the podium by Piastri who finished the race in third place.
Then we get to Qatar, a sprint weekend. All eyes were on Max Verstappen who was out ot win his third title when Oscar Piastri made the headlines about himself taking pole position for the Sprint and going on to win it.
The pair were also able to claim a double podium in the race, with Piastri beating Norris to second spot after what was a challenging qualifying session for the duo, Piastri starting from 6th and Norris in 10th.
For McLaren to take to Silverstone and have such a good weekend in front of their home crowd is something that we have missed from Formula One in recent seasons, and was a high point in a season dominated by Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
It also proved that the risk McLaren took in replacing a driver as experienced as Daniel Ricciardo was a good one as Piastri has been able to challenge Norris and a healthy battle between the two will help push the team forward.