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Piastri: With the junior record I had, there was a lot of expectation

Piastri: With the junior record I had was a lot of expectation

Piastri: With the junior record I had, there was a lot of expectation

Oscar Piastri admitted he entered his rookie Formula 1 season with a lot of expectation weighing on his shoulders, given his junior record and of course how he came into the sport.

Piastri won the Title in every F1 junior category from the first time of asking, and for that he was under the spotlight once he was promoted into F1. That is the positive side.

The negative side though was due to the way he was promoted to F1, as Alpine – with whom was a reserve – wanted him to replace Fernando Alonso who was going to Aston Martin for 2023, but Piastri and manager Mark Webber had other plans with McLaren.

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After a brief legal battle Piastri went to McLaren, but he was under pressure to deliver to vindicate himself and McLaren, ensuring he was worth the trouble.

Speaking in an interview with Formula 1’s Official Website, Piastri discussed confidence and the manner in which he tackled his maiden F1 campaign.

He said: “A lot of it [confidence] – for right or wrong – comes from results and I think all it takes sometimes is one good result and then you’ve got the belief that you can do it.

“For me, I’ve always tried to not look at the results, and go on how I’ve felt things have gone and how well I think I’ve driven.

“In F1 there’s only your teammate that you can directly compare to, and Lando [Norris] has been a very good benchmark. So, in some ways, at the start anyway, seeing how I fared was a bit of a measuring stick for myself.

Dealing with a teammate like Norris is not easy

piastri norris best drives says brown

“That’s probably been the thing that’s given me the confidence and then the results later in the year as well,” he pointed out. “Just simply knowing that I can mix it with these guys and now that I’m here with McLaren for another three years at least, all of those things help your confidence.”

Indeed, being able to keep up with a teammate like Norris was a great achievement for the Australian, by the time for the Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren have seen enough from him to take the decision to lock him down with them until 2026, another boost of confidence.

As for the weight of expectations on his shoulders, the Aussie commented: “I tried to play it down, but there was a lot of expectation coming into the year.

“With the junior record that I had – obviously it wasn’t the most straightforward path to F1 at the end – so there was a lot of external expectation.

“And also, for myself, I really wanted to go out there and perform and try and do what I’ve been able to do in the junior categories,” he concluded.

Despite all the pressure, Piastri has cut a calm figure throughout 2023, and was able to win the Sprint Race in Qatar, which won’t go into the record books as a grand prix win, but from what we have seen, he has the talent and the time to change that in the future, provided McLaren give him a decent car that is.