Rookie Oscar Piastri is a member of an extremely select group of drivers who have won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships in consecutive seasons.
Oscar Piastri is only a few hours away from beginning his Formula 1 career, with the Australian likely facing a difficult beginning at McLaren.
The Woking-based team had the lowest amount of laps completed over the course of three days of testing.
Piastri did the third-fewest number of laps on the starting grid, which he acknowledges has made this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix “challenging.”
McLaren signed Piastri to replace eight-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo, which demonstrates how talented the young Australian is.
Piastri is a member of a very limited group of drivers, having won consecutive Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships before becoming Alpine’s reserve driver.
McLaren’s F3 and F2 teams have said that the McLaren rookie is “better” than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc due to his achievements at the junior level.
Both Piastri and Leclerc raced for Prema during their junior careers, with the team claiming that Piastri is the “greatest young prospect” since Max Verstappen won the double World Championship.
“I spoke with [Oscar’s] engineers at Prema, and they said he was better than Leclerc when they had Leclerc in Prema,” ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok said, according to a Reddit post.
They stated, “You know, he was the best young prospect to emerge from junior formula since Max Verstappen”.
It is possible that Piastri’s true potential will not be realized until McLaren can provide him with a competitive car, which he does not appear to have this weekend in Bahrain.
The youngster wishes he “had more testing,” but he recognizes that his rookie competitors are in a similar position heading into the weekend.
“That is without a doubt a difficulty,” Piastri stated. “It would be wonderful if I had more testing.
“Logan [Sargeant] and I are in the same position. Nyck [de Vries] is also a rookie, but he has already competed in a race.
“It’s the same for all rookies; I’m sure we’d all appreciate a little more testing. But I believe that maximizing the time we have is the most important thing.”
Journalist rεveals Vettel ‘never contacted’ Aston Martin, makes big Alpine claim
Formula 1 reporter Alessandro Arcari claimed before of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix that former four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel “never contacted” Aston Martin about replacing Lance Stroll, who was a doubt for this weekend.
Following his “small mishap” while cycling in Spain, Stroll has been cleared to compete this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit. Earlier in the week, his participation was in serious doubt.
Stroll was unable to participate in preseason testing and was replaced by Felipe Drugovich, who was later named as Stroll’s substitute for the season’s first race should he be unable to compete.
Prior to the news, though, it was ruмored that Vettel had “offered his services” to Aston Martin in the event that Stroll was ruled unfit.
Arcari has recently disclosed, however, that there was never any interaction between him and Vettel, as informed to him by team members.
Members of the team also informed Arcari that the AMR23 is “overvalued,” despite the fact that Aston Martin is widely regarded as a true podium contender this weekend.
Their race run on the penultimate day of testing was excellent, being several tenths faster than Mercedes and on par with Ferrari. As a result, they have been instantly pegged as a podium contender this weekend.
The team has also commended Fernando Alonso for being a “beast” when it comes to providing feedback on the car, with the Spaniard set to be crucial to Aston Martin’s progression this season.
Intriguingly, Arcari was also informed that teams should be aware of Alpine, a team that Aston Martin is keeping a careful eye on, suggesting that the Enstone-based team may have something amazing up their sleeves for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Arcari posted on Twitter, “I’ve talked to whoever is inside AstonMartin,”
“1) Vettel never contacted to replace Stroll.
“2) AM23 is over-rated.
“3) Alonso a monster in the details.
“4) Watch out for #Alpine In the next few hours, a piece with details of course on @FUnoAT.”