‘The interesting point of Oscar Piastri is that he’s making all this look simple’

Michelle Foster
Oscar Piastri on the press conference couch with Max Verstappen. Belgium July 2023

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri on the press conference couch with Max Verstappen. Belgium July 2023

The only rookie on this year’s grid to score points, or even appear to be coming to terms with Formula 1, Andrea Stella says Oscar Piastri is making “all this look simple”.

Already one of his fellow rookies, Nyck de Vries, has lost his seat, while the other, Logan Sargeant, is rumoured to be on his way out at the end of the season, but Piastri entered the summer break with a smile on his face.

The Aussie is sitting on 34 points, has a sprint race front row starting position to his name, and a podium with his P2 in the shortened race at Spa.

Oscar Piastri is making F1 ‘look simple’

And it could’ve been so much more were it not for strategies at the British and Hungarian Grands Prix costing him podiums as they played out.

The rookie missed out at Silverstone when a Safety Car pushed him behind Lewis Hamilton while in Budapest he got the short straw in the McLaren strategy with Lando Norris undercutting him.

Piastri, though, can rest assured that his first grand prix podium is coming.

“Where he is at the moment is part of the gradient that we saw right from the start of testing and the first races,” Stella said.

“But you know, when you have a gradient, you very much have an expectation. When you see this expectation becoming material, you’re always a little impressed.

“And the interesting point of Oscar is that he’s making all this look simple.”

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He’s even led his first laps in Formula 1 with the driver getting the jump on championship leader Max Verstappen at Spa’s sprint race, keeping the Red Bull driver behind him for a few laps before a Safety Car restart gave Verstappen the advantage.

Stella was impressed.

“He’s making it look simple that, in these conditions, you pit, you lead the race, and you go from inters to dry and you never kind of make a mistake,” he said. “I think this is the most impressive thing that I can witness.

“And all of this is achieved with a pretty unique approach in terms of how calm he is, and considerate.”

Piastri’s calmness is, according to his manager and former F1 driver Mark Webber, one of his strongest traits along with his prowess in changing conditions.

“I think always in the junior categories, Oscar has been strong in those mixed conditions,” Webber told Channel 4 after Spa.

“It’s challenging to get them right, it’s easy to bomb the whole shooting match when you get to the Bus Stop and go straight but ultimately he kept a cool head team.”

Asked about his driver’s ‘old head on young shoulders’, Webber replied: “Yeah, wish I’d had some of that when I was racing. Oh to be that relaxed and gifted. I just look on with envy.”

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