Australian driver Oscar Piastri, who joined McLaren for the 2023 Formula 1 season following his stint as Alpine’s reserve and test driver, acknowledges the challenging nature of his rookie campaign. Although McLaren’s car hasn’t performed as expected, Piastri feels that he is steadily progressing. He credits his positive development to the assistance provided by veteran racer Mark Webber, who has competed in 217 grands prix.
In an interview with F1Flow.com, Piastri expressed gratitude for Webber’s support in preparing him for the demands of Formula 1. Webber emphasized the importance of not underestimating the magnitude of the transition, encompassing not only the cars but also the increased interactions with team members, media commitments, and sponsor obligations. Piastri appreciated Webber’s reminders, ensuring that he wasn’t caught off guard upon entering the season. This guidance proved invaluable to the young driver.
Moreover, Piastri highlighted Webber’s valuable insights into driving techniques and his ability to identify pertinent questions for the engineers that may not have occurred to Piastri himself. Webber’s sharp and strategic thinking, reminiscent of a seasoned racing driver, always aims to extract the best performance from Piastri.
Piastri further expressed his comfort in seeking advice from Webber, with whom he has collaborated for several years. He acknowledged Webber’s exceptional support during his time in Formula 3 and Formula 2 and praised his extensive network within the paddock. As someone who has experienced a successful career in Formula 1, Webber possesses a comprehensive understanding of the drivers’ perspective, team dynamics, and the intricacies of the sport. Having Webber as a guiding presence throughout Piastri’s journey brings immense reassurance.
Piastri identified the need to enhance his ability to quickly adapt to race weekends as an area requiring improvement. He acknowledged that he often faces a considerable gap to bridge in qualifying, falling short of his teammate Lando Norris. Piastri recognized that this deficit adversely affects his confidence, especially when entering qualifying sessions. He explained that while others make incremental gains in specific corners, he finds himself needing to make significant improvements, which can prove challenging. Therefore, Piastri aims to reach a competitive level earlier in the weekend, providing a smoother experience for himself and easing the pressure on the engineers tasked with optimizing the car setup.
In conclusion, Piastri acknowledges the invaluable guidance and mentorship provided by Mark Webber, appreciating his comprehensive knowledge of the sport and his ability to navigate the challenges faced by a young driver. With Webber’s support, Piastri aims to refine his performance and minimize the gap to his teammate, ensuring a more confident and competitive showing on race weekends.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about mentorship
Who is Oscar Piastri?
Oscar Piastri is an Australian Formula 1 driver who joined McLaren for the 2023 season after serving as Alpine’s reserve and test driver.
How has Mark Webber helped Oscar Piastri?
Mark Webber, a veteran of 217 grands prix, has provided valuable guidance to Oscar Piastri. He has helped him prepare for the challenges of Formula 1, including the transition to the higher level of competition, increased interactions with team members, media commitments, and sponsor obligations. Webber also offers driving tips and assists in formulating questions for the engineers.
How has Mark Webber’s experience benefited Oscar Piastri?
Mark Webber’s extensive experience as a Formula 1 driver has proven beneficial for Oscar Piastri. He has been instrumental in managing Piastri’s career in lower formulae and now continues to guide him through the intricacies of Formula 1. Webber’s network within the paddock and his comprehensive understanding of the sport from both a driver’s and team’s perspective provide invaluable insights and support.
What aspect of his driving does Oscar Piastri want to improve?
Oscar Piastri aims to improve his ability to quickly adapt and perform at a competitive level during race weekends. He acknowledges that he often faces a significant gap to bridge in qualifying, leaving him at a disadvantage compared to his teammate, Lando Norris. Piastri believes that finding the necessary time earlier in the weekend will not only boost his confidence but also facilitate smoother communication and collaboration with the team’s engineers in optimizing the car setup.
How has Oscar Piastri progressed in his rookie season with McLaren?
While McLaren’s car performance has not been as expected, Oscar Piastri feels that he is making progress in his rookie season. He attributes his development to the assistance provided by Mark Webber. Despite the challenges, Piastri has been able to improve his performance, particularly in qualifying sessions, and aims to narrow the gap to his teammate as he continues to adapt to the demands of Formula 1.