Oscar Piastri signs contract extension with McLaren until 2026

Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo in the Hungarian Grand Prix press conference, 2023

Oscar Piastri signs 2026 contract extension with McLaren in an unexpected but welcomed announcement.

It’s official: Oscar Piastri has signed a contract extension with McLaren until 2026. Piastri already had a contract that tied him to the team until the end of 2024. However, with how strong his performances have been so far it’s not crazy to imagine why McLaren would want to cement his future with them. With a new extension to his contract, we will be seeing the Aussie until at least 2026 with the Papaya team.

Piastri’s Junior Series Success

Since the start of the season, Oscar Piastri has demonstrated that he has what it takes to be a Formula 1 driver. Time and time again he has impressed those around him. Not only that, but he also has an impressive career to date. Seven successive championship wins in the 2019 Formula Renault Cup Championship, the 2020 Formula 3 Championship, and the 2021 Formula 2 Championship, the last two both in his rookie season!

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After turning down a seat in Alpine for 2023 Piastri signed a contract with McLaren. He arrived in Formula 1 with the heavy weight of expectations on his shoulders. However, it proved to be the right call. Up until now the Australian has notched up 6 top-10 finishes, the first one being on home soil. He even got to battle for a spot on the podium on more than one occasion. He’s proving to be very valuable to the team.

“I am thrilled to be extending my partnership with McLaren for many years. I want to be fighting it out at the front of the grid with this team, and I am excited by the vision and foundations that are already being laid to get us there. The welcome that I have received and the relationships that I have built make this feel like home already. The team’s consistent commitment to me has made me feel incredibly valued and the desire from the team for me to be part of its long-term future made this an easy decision.”

– Piastri about his contract renewal

The future of McLaren

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It’s not crazy to imagine Piastri as a future World Champion. He can certainly qualify as one of the best rookies we’ve seen in the last decade. So seeing him at the start of his career is truly a sight for sore eyes. Not everyone was convinced when Piastri joined McLaren, possibly because of the whole Alpine fiasco. Nevertheless, the British team put faith in him. However, in the beginning, it wasn’t easy. McLaren still had to do some fundamental upgrades to its car. As the car was updated we were able to see both Norris and Piastri’s real talent.

The first pack of upgrades appeared at the Austrian Grand Prix, followed by a second one at the British Grand Prix. Since then the Papaya team has been competitive with the top teams while still being conscious about its limits. As of now, McLaren has the most thrilling driver lineup on the grid. Both young and with World Champion material. And Piastri, albeit young, has been a real match for Lando Norris. With McLaren CEO Zak Brown and Team Principal Andrea Stella singing Oscar Piastri’s praises we can see why.

Lando Norris

We know that McLaren has locked down both of its drivers until at least 2025. However, anything can happen in the future. In fact, Norris has attracted quite a few admirers this season. We know that for him McLaren is like a family, but if McLaren failed to give him what he wanted we could expect him to start looking somewhere else. Piastri, having just extended his contract until 2026, in the meantime can grow into a skillful driver and gain more experience. Nevertheless, we believe that both of McLaren’s boys are on their way to greatness.

It’s easy to imagine a near future where Norris and Piastri can be competitive and fight for the podium with the other top teams. The road is still long ahead of them, but they seem to be on the right track.