Oscar Piastri is Ready for F1 Debut Season Despite Transfer Saga Drama

Oscar Piastri’s highly anticipated Formula 1 debut this season is playing out under the microscope, with the young Australian’s controversial move from Alpine to McLaren last summer still to be remembered.

The 21-year-old has already made a name for himself in the junior categories, becoming the first driver in history to win championships in Formula Renault, Formula 3, and Formula 2 in consecutive years. Now, he will line up alongside Lando Norris in the McLaren team for the 2023 F1 season after replacing the underperforming Daniel Ricciardo.

At the launch of McLaren’s 2023 season car, Piastri admitted that he might have some rust to shake off after not racing for over a year.

“I think for the beginning of the year, my first in F1, a new team for me, and I haven’t raced for over a year, there’ll be some rust,” he said.

“I just need to focus on myself and work with my team to try and get back up to speed as quickly as possible, because there are just some things without racing that you can’t really train.”

Piastri’s move to McLaren was not without controversy, with a court hearing ruling in his favor to confirm that the process had been legal.

However, Piastri insists that the drama has not added any extra pressure going into the season and that he will be able to focus on his driving.

“No extra pressure,” he said.

“Coming into F1 from previous results in junior categories, there’s going to be the expectation. While the drama created a lot of attention, it has nothing to do with my driving. Results create expectations. I don’t think that adds anything – I’m going into the season pretty comfortable.”

McLaren has already expressed their faith in Piastri’s ability, with team boss Andreas Seidl praising the driver’s professionalism throughout the entire transfer saga. The young Australian will have the chance to prove himself on the biggest stage in motorsport.

The season kicks off with pre-season testing from February 23-25, with the Bahrain Grand Prix taking place on March 5. With the pressure on Piastri to perform, it will be interesting to see how he fares in his maiden F1 season.

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