Piastri: What you’ve done previously to F1 gets forgotten

Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri has described his Formula 1 debut next season as a complete reset on his motor racing career.

The Australian will replace countryman Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after performing Reserve Driver duties with Alpine this year.

Piastri looked set to be promoted within the Enstone-based squad following Fernando Alonso’s departure before a messy argument broke out over his services for 2023.

That was resolved in favour of McLaren via the Contract Recognition Board.

Meanwhile, the Papaya operation had cleared the path for Piastri’s arrival by agreeing to an early termination package with Ricciardo.

“It was yeah, obviously a pretty stressful time with the CRB hearing,” Piastri said on the latest episode of the Australian Grand Prix’s In the Fast Lane podcast.

“[It’s] something I’ve been working towards since I started racing way back when – I think it was about 12 years ago now, 11 years ago.

“So to finally know what my future holds, firstly, and secondly, that it would be in F1, that was, firstly a relief and a very, very happy moment.”

Piastri’s rise to the fringes of Formula 1 was rapid, with success in Formula Renault, Formula 3, and Formula 2 in consecutive years.

It carved him out as one of the most exciting youngsters the sport has seen in many years, with a junior record that surpasses the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

However, he suggests that now all counts for nothing and the path to Formula 1 was only part of the journey.

“It’s basically the start of the real journey,” he observed.

“This is the main part that I wanted to achieve, becoming a professional.

“When I first started, I wanted to be a professional in any kind of motorsport and just race cars for a living. But to be able to do that in F1, I think it’s pretty hard to find a better day job than that.

“I’m super excited and very much looking forward to the future because I want to make sure that this is my job for a while.

“I think you can look at it in two ways a little bit,” he added of his junior success.

“Firstly, I think the success that I’ve had previously has led to the opportunity in F1, so I think that’s one way of looking at it.

“But at the same time, once you start racing in F1, what you’ve done previously to that gets forgotten about very quickly.

“Once you get into F1, it’s very much about how well you can do in F1 rather than what you’ve been able to accomplish previously.

“So I’m glad that I’ve got those championships under my belt and ultimately they’ve provided me with this opportunity to race in F1.

“It’s very much the start of a new journey now and in some way, starting from zero again.

“But I think I can take confidence from my junior categories, and the championships in the junior categories as well, and hopefully use those to look back on with some confidence and feel like deserve to be here.”

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