Ricciardo urges Piastri to simply ‘enjoy’ F1
By Ian Parkes
Thursday 9th February, 2023 - 7:15am
Daniel Ricciardo has urged Oscar Piastri to “just enjoy” his “big, big opportunity” in Formula 1.
After a year on the sidelines as Alpine reserve, and a protracted contract dispute over his services last summer, Piastri will finally make his F1 debut with McLaren in early March.
There is a level of expectation on Piastri’s shoulders, however, after a stellar junior career in which he won the Formula Renault Eurocup, F3, and F2 championships in successive years from 2019 to 2021,
After replacing Ricciardo at McLaren, the 21-year-old Melburnian is expected to push Lando Norris to the limit.
Ricciardo, who is serving as Red Bull’s third driver this year, feels Piastri should soak it all in his maiden campaign and have fun.
“We spoke a little bit towards the end of last year, and I don’t want to say, ‘Oh, I think he’ll do this or that’ because I don’t know the truth of how he’s going to go,” said Ricciardo to invited media, including Speedcafe.com.
“But I also don’t want to add any more pressure on him. There’s an expectation for him to be close to Lando, or whatever it is.
“It’s really just on him to get involved in the sport, build himself up, learn, progress, and also just enjoy it.
“It’s a big, big opportunity. There haven’t been many Australians to get this far before, so ultimately, he needs to find that part of it as well where he can just enjoy it.
“Obviously, I wish him well, but I really can’t predict or say, ‘Oh, he’ll do this or that’. We’ll wait and see but I hope he finds himself having fun and has a smooth first season.”
Ricciardo clarifies McLaren Melbourne drive with Piastri
Ricciardo has also cleared up a story that appeared in early January regarding the 33-year-old and Piastri.
A photograph appeared of Piastri driving a McLaren road car around Melbourne, with Ricciardo seemingly sitting alongside him.
The image was slightly grainy, however, and it was difficult to confirm the figure in the passenger seat was Ricciardo.
Addressing the matter for the first time, Ricciardo said: “So for the record, that was a meme.
“I think he was in a McLaren with someone that kind of looked like me, so everyone was like, ‘Oh, Daniel’s giving Oscar driving tips’, or something like that.
“But it wasn’t me, I wasn’t with him in person.”
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