How ‘demanding’ Piastri is already challenging McLaren

Oscar Piastri's personality traits are having an effect at McLaren

Oscar Piastri is being demanding on McLaren

Oscar Piastri has been described as “a man of few words” and “demanding” by new McLaren team principal Andrea Stella.

Far from such comments being a criticism of the 21-year-old, Stella is being complimentary towards Piastri as he claims such a personality is helping raise the standards inside the team.

Despite a year on the sidelines with Alpine last term, it would appear Piastri has lost none of his confidence after winning the Formula Renault Eurocup, F3 and F2 titles in successive seasons from 2019-2021.

Alongside his natural ability, it is now becoming clear why McLaren hired Piastri to replace fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

Assessing what Piastri has brought to the team so far, speaking to invited media including at the launch of the MCL60, Stella said: “A characteristic we like a lot is that he’s a man of few words – but the right words. That’s become very apparent.

“He’s certainly focused, and also, I would say demanding. This characteristic you can see already.

“The focus goes into being demanding to the team, and this will certainly help elevate the standards.”

Piastri ‘constantly unhappy’

Asked by to provide an example with regard to Piastri’s demanding ways, Stella replied: “We gave him some audio files to listen to of previous races.

“It’s the way he gets to the bottom of matters, even asking questions like ‘Why did you guys do this here? You could have done that, you could have done this’.

“In a very polite and constructive way he challenges you. He doesn’t take things superficially or doesn’t stop challenging just to please.

“This is not what we want. We want to be challenged.

“In this sense, he is a demanding guy who can help raise standards just by, in a way, almost constantly being unhappy, which is a good position for a driver to be in.”

Piastri leaving indelible mark on McLaren

It has left Stella and CEO Zak Brown impressed with what they have seen so far from Piastri, with the promise of more to come.

“Driving on the simulator, you let someone drive and you can observe the way a driver challenges himself in terms of finding speed,” continued Stella.

“There are drivers with whom you have to guide through the process step-by-step – okay, let’s stop now, let’s look at something else, let’s go for another run, and you go through this alternative process.

“With Oscar, he was pretty much able to go very close to the limit, exploring his own resources, with a lot of awareness and process.

“In this sense, he was impressive.”

Alpine saga highlighted maturity

For Brown, he concedes his experiences with his new driver began in the middle of last year when McLaren and Alpine engaged in a tug-of-war over Piastri’s services.

The unsavoury saga culminated in the Contract Recognition Board determining that the Melburnian was free to join McLaren even though Alpine had invested heavily in his junior career.

“I was very impressed with how he handled himself,” assessed Brown.

“As a 21-year-old under that amount of public pressure, in the face of unfair and inaccurate accusations, it would have been quite difficult for anyone, never mind someone of his age.

“I thought the way he conducted himself throughout that whole process showed me how mature, focused, and calm he is.

“Since then, what I’ve continued to see is a driver who’s very focused on racing.

“You talk to him about what he’s doing for New Year’s, and it’s ‘I’m just chilling out, thinking about racing’, which is what you want to hear.

“So he’s a very focused, calm individual, and I think we’ve seen that in a racing environment as well.”

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