2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg has praised Oscar Piastri for his performance in the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP.
The 2023 rookie managed to outperform his McLaren teammate Lando Norris, drawing praise from the former champion.
Despite finishing in 15th place, the McLaren F1 driver Piastri demonstrated exceptional composure in a race that offered him little advantage. Piastri began the race in eighth position but encountered a minor collision with Pierre Gasly's Alpine, resulting in damage to his front wing and a pit stop on lap one.
The rookie was seen overtaking the Williams of Logan Sargeant and his teammate Lando Norris towards the end of the race, drawing praise from the F1 world. Oscar Piastri especially drew praise from Nico Rosberg, who commended the driver for his exceptional performance given McLaren's woeful form.
Rosberg told Sky Sports F1:
"I have been very impressed this weekend with Oscar. It's the ultimate challenge for a rookie to come in and be up against Lando, especially when the car is so difficult and bad to drive. A really solid weekend."
The Australian driver also put on a stellar showing on Saturday (March 18), qualifying P8 in his dismal 2023 challenger. It will be interesting to watch the rookie's 2023 campaign progress.
Oscar Piastri reveals the one area where he is lacking compared to Lando Norris
Oscar Piastri acknowledged that he lacks consistency compared to his McLaren teammate, Lando Norris, following his exit from his debut race after just 13 laps.
Norris is renowned for being one of the most reliable drivers on the grid, despite never having driven a championship-winning car. The British driver is acclaimed for his exceptional performances, even with substandard equipment.
In contrast, Oscar Piastri admits to struggling with consistency on a lap-by-lap basis. He revealed that he performed admirably on certain laps but lacked pace on others. Piastri said:
"It’s now just putting it all together really, which I think is sort of the last hurdle. It feels like I can do it here and there in different laps but just putting it all in one, that last bit of consistency is what I’m lacking at the moment."
Given his incredible drive in Jeddah, however, Oscar Piastri is quickly establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with - even against a teammate like Lando Norris. It will be interesting to watch the battle between the two drivers develop over the course of the 2023 F1 season.