No expectations for Piastri in F1 debut
By Mat Coch
Sunday 19th February, 2023 - 5:00pm
McLaren driver Oscar Piastri is heading into the 2023 F1 season without any fixed expectations in terms of results for the year ahead.
The young Australian will make his official Formula 1 debut next month at the Bahrain Grand Prix at the wheel of the MCL60.
Prior to that, he will have just a day-and-a-half of running in the car during pre-season testing, which starts this Thursday.
Piastri enters the sport under the spotlight following a hugely successful junior career that saw him net three championship wins in succession – a feat not even managed by Lewis Hamilton on his path to F1.
The Melburnian also climbs into the car that would otherwise have featured Daniel Ricciardo.
“In terms of results, there’s not really any set expectations,” he said when asked about the year ahead.
“Obviously, I’m going to try and learn as much as I can and it depends where we are as a team.
“For me, learning as much as I can, obviously getting up to speed as quickly as I can…
“There’s going to be an element of rust there at the beginning having not raced for a while now, so trying to get back up to speed there and just putting the right processes in place to really fast track my learning as much as we can.
“Whatever results come as a result of that is a bonus.”
Piastri was benched throughout 2022, though did have some outings with Alpine aboard its race-winning 2021 car prior to the mid-season break.
Since joining McLaren, his time behind the wheel has been limited to a private outing at Paul Ricard prior to last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
That was facilitated by Alpine allowing him to join McLaren early, which also saw him take part in post-season testing in Yas Marina.
It was an outing Mark Webber described as “pivotal” when speaking about the man he manages for Speedcafe.com’s KTM Summer Grill.
Formula 1 pre-season testing gets underway from February 23, with three days of running in Sakhir.
The opening round follows soon after, also in Bahrain, before the circus travels to Alfa Romeo Sauber Arabia and then on to Australia for Round 3 of the calendar from March 30-April 2.
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