Piastri ‘laying the foundations’

Oscar Piastri is 'laying the foundations' for his F1 career in 2023

Oscar Piastri is ‘laying the foundations’ for his F1 career in 2023

Oscar Piastri has described the early stages of his Formula 1 career as ‘laying the foundations’ for what’s to come.

Two races into his debut season the Australian has made a positive impression.

Though he retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren was pleased with the maturity he showed in building up over the course of the weekend.

The same approach was evident in Saudi Arabia last time out.

There, he was able to capitalise on the opportunity to progress through to the final phase of qualifying.

While the race unravelled at Turn 2 after contact with Pierre Gasly there were positives.

He engaged in a late-race scrap with team-mate Lando Norris and stole a place from Logan Sargeant on the last lap.

In doing so, he gained experience racing in turbulence and using and deploying the car’s electrical energy in battle.

To Piastri, those lessons will mark out 2023 as a successful year more than the championship table or individual race results.

Success in 2023

“It’s kind of hard to describe,” he told Speedcafe.com when asked how he’ll know if his rookie year is a success.

“I think I will know if I feel like I’m doing a good job or not.

“Throughout my junior career, I’ve always I guess been my harshest critic – I think a lot of drivers, especially at this level are their harshest critic.

“I will know whether I feel good about what I’ve done or not and of course I’ll be trying my best every time.

“But I think there’ll be probably a few races where the results are maybe not amazing on paper, but I’ve actually learned a lot.

“That will hopefully set me up for later down the line.”

Results not the only measure

For now, McLaren looks embroiled in the F1 midfield that accounts for six of the 10 teams – Red Bull, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Mercedes all being a step clear at the front.

It leaves the Piastri and his papaya squad locked in battle with Alpine, Haas, Alfa Romeo Sauber, Scuderia AlphaTauri, and Williams for the final two points-paying positions.

With his fortunes inextricably linked to his car’s potential, headline results will be difficult to come by.

Further, consistency will be difficult to achieve as the midfield pecking order changes.

Instead, true indicators of growth, development, and relative success need to be found elsewhere.

“Obviously, there’s an element of where we are as a team throughout the whole year,” Piastri noted.

“Of course, I want to get some results when the opportunity’s there but I think at the start of the year anyway, just laying these foundations, learning everything and then when the opportunities arise, making sure that I’m there to take them.

“There’s going to be an element of not being too harsh on myself whilst I’m learning but at the same time, I want to make sure if I do make these mistakes that I make them once and learn from them.”

Piastri will this weekend become the first Australian to compete in a world championship grand prix in his hometown when F1 gets underway in Albert Park from Friday.

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