It has been a turbulent few months for Oscar Piastri. The manner of his move to McLaren meant he was unable to take advantage of any opportunities to drive the new generation of cars, which he was supposed to be doing. While it certainly would have been a boost, it is now past him and he can focus on 2023. He’s considered to be one of the best F1 talents, and McLaren CEO Zak Brown thinks he’s going to be a ‘future star’.
Because Alpine agreed to release him early i.e. at the end of the season, and not the calendar year, he was able to take part in the post-season Abu Dhabi test. The Australian logged 123 laps (650km) for the whole session, and his fastest time (though it’s just testing) was actually 0.550 seconds faster than his teammate next year, Lando Norris.
As per F1i.com, Zak Brown said Piastri had been very mature during his move to McLaren: “He was very mature through the whole process which, for a 21-year-old, with having all that pressure and spotlight, he was not frazzled, [he] kept his head down. We’ve now had him in our TPC [Testing Previous Car] car, he did an excellent job. I think he’s going to be a future star.”
Zak Brown: Oscar Piastri is ‘ready to go’
Oscar Piastri is easily one of the hottest prospects right now. The Australian won F3 and F2 in his debut seasons (2020 and 2021, respectively) but when it came to F1, there was no seat available. Alpine’s plan was to loan him to Williams for 2023, but he decided to secure his future and go to McLaren. But this also meant that he would have basically no running in the new F1 cars all year.
On this, Zak Brown said: “I think what’s important is he’s not raced for a year; we don’t have a lot of testing. I wish there was more pre-season testing, not just for Oscar, just in general, because he’s effectively going to get a day and a half, which is not a lot. I think he’s going to be competitive and push Lando [Norris]. We just need to give him time to bore into the team. He’s a very serious individual, and he’s ready to go.”
The 2023 driver lineup that McLaren have is one with incredible potential, and it’s quite a mouth-watering prospect to see them drive alongside each other. One wonders who will come out on top, once Piastri gets adjusts to the car and his new life in Formula 1.