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Oscar Piastri reflects on surprisingly swift transition to F1 spotlight

Rising Australian star Oscar Piastri shared his astonishment at how swiftly he adapted to the challenges of being a full-time Formula 1 driver in the 2023 season.

Piastri, who spent his rookie campaign with McLaren alongside teammate Lando Norris, notched up an impressive two podium finishes during the season. His journey to F1 was punctuated by a Formula 2 title win in 2021, a hiatus in the 2022 season, and a coveted spot that saw Alpine and McLaren vying for his signature.

Acknowledging the weight of expectations, Piastri revealed, in a candid interview with F1, "There was definitely an element of expectation, I think for me, mostly from my junior achievements and of course how I came into Formula 1 as well. So I tried to not think about it and tried to do the best job I could, just focus on driving."

Despite sitting out the 2022 campaign, Piastri seamlessly found his rhythm, stating, "I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I found myself getting back up to speed in racing situations. But definitely there was an element of expectation. But I always like to think that I've put the most expectation on myself, so everything else is kind of just secondary."

Now in the midst of the winter break following the Abu Dhabi finale, Piastri is utilizing the downtime to recharge after a demanding season. Reflecting on the challenges faced by F1 drivers, he commented, "So much of our lives as drivers are spent at the track, in the simulator, doing partner activities, doing interviews, there’s not much time. I think this year, I've really tried to focus on making sure I started off my F1 career on the right foot and not have any distractions."

Away from the track, Piastri is embracing simplicity, relishing in everyday joys that the racing lifestyle often precludes. "So Oscar away from the track at the moment is quite lazy, just recharging. Sleeping in your own bed, seeing friends, seeing my girlfriend, just the sort of simple things in life that you actually don't really get to do because we've traveled so much."

As the current season concludes, F1 enthusiasts eagerly await the 2024 season, set to kick off with pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit from February 23 to 25, offering a glimpse of what lies ahead for the talented Australian driver.


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