Piastri: At the beginning of 2023, competing for F1 podiums will be a “distant dream”

Oscar Piastri claims that competing for a Formula 1 podium at the beginning of 2023 was a "distant dream" before his McLaren team made a significant advancement toward the summer.

(Motorsports news) As his team failed its development goals for the 2023 car and got off to a slow start in the season, Piastri appeared to be in for a low-key debut season at McLaren. Only five points were scored by the Australian in the first nine races due to the MCL60’s flaws, while Lando Norris, an experienced teammate, was also unable to consistently produce success with the vehicle.

However, McLaren’s summer B-spec, which was used in the last few races before the break, helped the team turn the tide and gave Norris and Piastri the opportunity to make headlines. The team moved up to sixth in the standings thanks to Norris’ two second-place results in Britain and Hungary, and Piastri finished in the top three for the first time in Formula 1’s Saturday sprint at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Piastri acknowledged that his Spa result at the beginning of the year “was a pretty distant dream” after reflecting on his first half-season in the competition. “I think maybe before the season we thought that could be possible in the right circumstances, with maybe a few cars not finishing,” Piastri added.

The grounded rookie, though, isn’t getting carried away by his first F1 victory and claims his breakthrough Spa weekend doesn’t change the fact that he still has a long way to go to maximize the performance of both the car and himself. “I don’t think it changes too much of what I’m trying to do myself,” he said. “I’m continuously looking for ways to maximize my potential.

I still have a lot to learn and am only now catching up on some areas, so from that perspective, not much has changed. “But it’s cool when you can leave with a trophy or anything like a sprint plaque thing. Therefore, let’s hope for more and keep moving forward.

Although he acknowledged that eliminating errors was a top objective, Piastri said he was happy with the way his rookie season had been going thus far. When asked how he felt about his first six months in Formula One, the 22-year-old responded, “I’m very happy where I am, I think my season’s been quite good for the most part.”

“I believe there were missteps or instances I wish I could go back to, but with the benefit of hindsight, it’s extremely simple to say those types of things. “I’m satisfied with my driving abilities, but I still have a lot to learn and improve upon. I’ve got a very capable teammate to learn from who, just by serving as a benchmark, greatly aids in my ability to catch up, so yes, I’m content with my situation.

Also read: Despite having alternative choices, Leclerc is prepared to “push” for a new Ferrari F1 agreement


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