Senna? Prost? Hamilton? Piastri reveals his McLaren heroes ahead of debut season
As he prepares to enter his first season as a Formula 1 driver, McLaren’s newest recruit Oscar Piastri will be taking inspiration from the success of his team mate Lando Norris, and the team’s last world championship winning driver, Lewis Hamilton.
Piastri – one of three rookies on the grid in 2023 alongside Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant – is making the step up to Formula 1 after a year on the sidelines as a reserve driver for Alpine, taking the seat of his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo.
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Speaking in an interview on the McLaren website, Piastri explained how the early success of Hamilton – who won the world title with the Woking squad in 2008 – and team mate Norris – who has six podiums in four seasons – gives him confidence that the team can help him also become a "world-class" driver.
“Lewis and Lando are two prime examples of that,” said Piastri, when asked about McLaren’s history of blooding rookies. “McLaren have a good history of bringing through rookies and turning them into world-class Formula 1 drivers, so that gave me confidence.
“That, and the feeling of being wanted by the team was a massive, massive draw. The passion, the energy, and the desire to have me in the team was a very nice feeling. The other part was the trajectory of the team in the last five years or so, which has generally been towards the front."
He added: “Last year was a bit more of a plateau, but in general, it has been an upward trend, and it’s been eye-opening to see the work going on behind the scenes to get us even further up the grid.”
Like Norris and Hamilton, Piastri boasts an impressive record in the junior categories – taking 21 victories from 2016 to 2021 on his way to winning three single-seater championships. And the Australian explained how his driving style, which he believes will translate to Formula 1, has been a key factor behind his success.
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“I think my driving style is probably pretty similar to my personality,” Piastri revealed. “Smooth is quite a common comment that I get, and precise. I think it’s rare for me to have what you might call a scruffy lap. Obviously, everyone does now and again, but I think my laps are generally pretty clean, quite consistent, and methodical.
“That has been a staple of my three championships. Even if we’re not quite quick enough, we’re able to be there or thereabouts, which I think is really important – even more so in a season as long as the F1 season.”