Oscar Piastri responds after former team boss links him to Red Bull

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

Oscar Piastri says while he is “flattered” by pundits linking him to Red Bull, he is “very happy” at McLaren.

The Australian rookie had a breakthrough performance in Saturday’s Sprint race for the Belgian Grand Prix weekend where he not only led the race, a first for him in Formula 1, but brought his MCL60 home in second place for a debut podium.

It had been coming with Piastri qualifying third in Britain before going on to finish P4 while a race later in Hungary he was fourth on the grid, shot up to second at the start, but fell to P5 in the strategy melee.

Oscar Piastri ‘flattered’ but not interested in a move

This time around everything went right, starting P2, pitting for inters at the first possible opportunity while race leader Max Verstappen stayed out, and then leading the Sprint for several laps.

He was eventually overtaken by Verstappen down the Kemmel Straight but had made life difficult for the Red Bull driver who needed a bit of assistance in a Safety Car restart to get the move made.

Such has been Piastri’s form of late, former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan has tipped him as a future Red Bull driver.

“It’s flattering to have those comments,” the Aussie told the media including PlanetF1.com. “I’m very happy where I am. But yeah, it’s always nice to be talked about in those kinds of ways.

“I think my season’s been quite good for the most part, I think there’s definitely been some mistakes or moments I wish I could have had again, but with hindsight, it’s very easy to say those kinds of things.

“So yeah, I’m happy with where I’m at driving-wise, there’s still a lot to improve, a lot to learn. I’ve got a very strong team-mate to learn from who just by being a benchmark is a big help for me getting back up to speed. So yeah, I’m happy where I am.”

Eddie Jordan backs Oscar Piastri to join Red Bull

With Piastri emerging as one to watch for the future, the 22-year-old has been tipped by former team boss Jordan to join Verstappen at Red Bull.

Managed by Mark Webber, a former Red Bull driver, the 75-year-old reckons that move could be just a matter of time, and says Piastri could actually “challenge” Verstappen, unlike his current team-mate Sergio Perez.

“I think there is big star quality in there, I’m actually blown away with this young kid, so he’d be one of the drivers I’d be looking at to challenge Max in the future,” he told TalkSPORT.

“He’s managed by my old partner Mark Webber and we saw how he got him into McLaren. Do not be surprised if there’s a seat available at Red Bull, of course where Mark used to be, don’t be surprised if he is named in front of the public eye in the future.”

Meanwhile former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Germany: “Oscar is one of the best young drivers I’ve ever seen.”

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Max Verstappen praise after Oscar Piastri’s Sprint podium

Having now raced Piastri two weekends in a row, Verstappen was full of praise for the young Aussie saying his arrival has been good for the sport.

“Yes, it’s always good,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com, when asked about whether he enjoyed racing some “fresh blood”.

“I mean, I’ve been in that position as well, where the younger guy comes in. It’s nice and it’s great and Oscar’s having a very strong season in general.

“But I think also this weekend, he has been really on it. So it’s always nice to, for the first time, basically race him.”

Piastri is up to 10th in the Drivers’ Championship with 34 points, 11 behind Lance Stroll and three ahead of Esteban Ocon.

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