Oscar Piastri signs his renewal with McLaren until 2026. Between ups and downs, let’s take a look at his highlights in papaya orange.
Oscar Piastri will officially have his seat in McLaren until the end of 2026. The news came out just before the Japanese Grand Prix in a video on McLaren’s accounts. The rookie thanked his team and the fans for their warm welcome and support since joining F1 and hopes for more successes in the future. Let’s go over some of his best achievements – so far-in the Papaya Army this season.
He’s already hit the front row, led a race and achieved some mighty results in his rookie season…
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 21, 2023
In Q3 in Jeddah for the first time in F1
McLaren didn’t have the most brilliant start this season. The team was at the bottom of the Constructor Championship and the two drivers were p15 and p17 at the Saudi Arabian GP. Jeddah was only the second race of the season, yet the rookie was able to make it into Q3. He qualified in p9 with a lap of 1’29”243. On the starting grid, he was p8 after the penalty applied to Ferrari’s driver Charles Leclerc. Considering that he just joined a new team in the highest category of motorsport, it’s quite remarkable.
First points at his home Grand Prix
The Australian Grand Prix was one of the most chaotic of the first half of the season. Between red flags, several DNFs and restarts, the McLaren driver scored 4 points. He started the race in 16th position, but he crossed the finish line in p8. This was the first time for Oscar Piastri in the points zone. Not only that, but with also Lando Norris in p6, McLaren brought home 14 points, starting their rise back to the top.
The race week in Silverstone
It was probably the best weekend for McLaren. At their home Grand Prix, they had some incredible moments on the track. Focusing on Oscar Piastri, he was one of the fastest on the circuit during the qualifying sessions. During Q2, he even took a provisional pole ahead of Max Verstappen. In Q3, he ended up third on the starting grid, behind the two times World Champion and his teammate Lando Norris. It is his best result in qualifying so far.
Even on Sunday, the McLaren’s were quite fast. At the start, Piastri goes wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen for the second place, but he didn’t manage to overtake the Red Bull.
He finished the race in p4, just missing the podium. It’s his best result at his 10th Grand Prix as a Formula One driver. The weekend in Silverstone was a fantastic for the rookie and the team.
The Sprint Race in Belgium
Piastri was brilliant during the Sprint format at Spa, the best race so far for the Australian and his team.
Starting from the Sprint Shootout, Oscar Piastri took the provisional pole position from the Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz with a lap of 1’49”067. Only Max Verstappen was able to do better than him and only for +0.011.
During the Sprint Race, thanks to an undercut, he took the lead from the Dutchman of Red Bull. This until Verstappen overtook him on fresher tyres. Even so, Oscar Piastri becomes the first rookie to lead a Grand Prix since Esteban Gutierrez in Spain 2013. The Sprint ended with Piastri on the second step of the podium, the first time in the top 3 for the rookie.
His comeback in Singapore
It was his first race in Singapore, and he didn’t have the chance to do a good qualifying session. Piastri was out in Q1 due to the red flag caused by Lance Stroll’s crash and started the race in p17. The track in Singapore is known for being one of the most challenging on the calendar, especially for a rookie.
It’s quite difficult to make overtakes in Singapore, so a good qualifying session was very important. So, Piastri’s race seemed to be complicated. And yet, he made an amazing comeback. The driver, with hard work and dedication, went from the back of the grid to crossing the finish line in p7, gaining 10 positions and 6 points.
A rookie that was born to drive in Formula 1. 👏 pic.twitter.com/aXwHJzXlzD
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 20, 2023
With another five Grand Prix this season and three more years added to his contract, we can expect some more from Oscar Piastri and McLaren.