Piastri: Special for my first race to be in Papaya

Piastri: Special for my first race to be in Papaya

Piastri: Special for my first race to be in Papaya

Oscar Piastri is naturally excited about his first ever Formula 1 race, the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, and being in McLaren Papaya car makes it more special.

Oscar Piastri jumped ship from Alpine to McLaren last year, after the British team moved heaven and earth to put him in one of their cars after a bitter legal battle with the French team.

Now, the time has come to see if Piastri was worth the trouble, as the Australian youngster gears up for his first F1 race weekend, and it would be interesting to see how he stacks up against a formidable teammate in the form of Lando Norris, keeping in mind as well that the team’s 2023 car, the MCL60, doesn’t seem to be one of the good cars out there.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s F1 race in Bahrain, Piastri said: “I’m excited for my first race in Formula 1 and for it to be in papaya is really special. I’ve been waiting a long time for my Formula 1 debut so it’s great that the moment is finally here.

“I’m feeling prepared for the challenges ahead and to get back on track in a competitive environment,” he added. “It’s been a while since I last raced so I’m itching to get going again.

“The work I’ve put in with the team over the past few months and the welcome I’ve had from McLaren and the fans has set me up well for the season ahead.

“I still have a lot to learn and some bits to get my head around with the MCL60. As a team, we’ve still got a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be, but I’m feeling optimistic for the season.

“I’m looking forward to the battles, the challenges and everything ahead of me as I properly kick start this journey. Let’s go racing,” Piastri concluded.

Norris enters his fifth season with McLaren

Lando Norris, starting his 83rd race in F1 and McLaren, added: “It’s finally race week and I can’t wait to jump back in the MCL60 and get on track. I’m entering my fifth season in Formula 1 now but I’m as excited as ever to go racing and get the season underway.

“Testing wasn’t without its challenges,” the Briton admitted, “but we’re working hard to continue to push us forward to get us back to where we want to be on the grid. We’ve learned a lot about the car, and we’ve already implemented some tweaks to optimise performance where we can.

“Thank you to the whole team for their work in building the MCL60 and the effort that’s gone into getting us racing. Let’s get the season underway,” the six-time podium sitter concluded.

There will be challenges on the horizon

Newly appointed McLaren Team Principal, Andrea Stella, admitted his team has challenges to deal will this season, but has faith in his drivers and partners to pull through.

“We’ve got a long season ahead of us, 23 races and some challenges on the horizon,” he said, “but we can count on an exciting new driver line-up in Lando and Oscar, a team of hard-working and talented people, a strong partnership with HPP [Mercedes’ power unit branch] and the support of our commercial partners and our incredible fans. We feel the strength of this united team.

“It’s too early to make predictions about how the grid will shape up,” Stella insisted, “but we have our sights set on reclaiming a place within the best four teams over the course of the year.

“We know it will be challenging and we have a lot of work to do but we’re optimistic about the season as a whole,” the Italian concluded.

McLaren are celebrating their 60th anniversary this season, one of the reasons behind the name of car, the MCL60.