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Oscar Piastri's stellar rise to McLaren F1

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Oscar Piastri. Credits: @JamieD_STFC (Twitter).
Oscar Piastri. Credits: @JamieD_STFC (Twitter).

Oscar Piastri will join McLaren next season alongside 22-year-old British driver Lando Norris.

The 2021 Formula 2 champion has spent the last four years as a reserve driver for Renault and Alpine. He's had numerous F1 appearances such as the two-day Qatar test, where he got to drive Alpine's 2021 car.

The Australian began karting in 2014 at the age of 13, where he built up his skills to join Formula Renault in 2017. He worked his way up the motorsport ladder, landing his place in F4 within the same year. Formula 3 gave him his first big debut in the motorsport world with his second championship following the next year.

Alpine confirmed in August that he had been promoted to a race seat for the team alongside Esteban Ocon for their 2023 driver lineup. However, Piastri denied Alpine's claim as he was planning to sign with McLaren for the 2023 season.

I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.

Piastri spoke to Sky Sports about his entrance into F1:

"I'm extremely excited to be making my F1 debut...I'm very grateful for the opportunity."

Oscar Piastri's prospects for the 2023 F1 season

F1 Grand Prix of Spain - Previews
F1 Grand Prix of Spain - Previews

With Oscar Piastri taking over fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo's seat next year, the young rookie has some boots to fill. The 21-year-old's most recent achievement was winning the 2021 Formula 2 Championship with his former team, Prema Racing.

McLaren's last F1 win was at the Italian Grand Prix in 2021 with Ricciardo scoring his first career win since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. Norris, on the other hand, is yet to win a race with the team.

Piastri finds himself in a favorable situation at McLaren. Most debutons land their first F1 gig with smaller, slower teams like Williams, Haas, or Alfa Romeo. McLaren, on the other hand, is an established outfit with proven performance. They have the engineers and, more importantly, the money to at least lead the midfield.

With McLaren likely to improve on their 2022 season next year, Oscar Piastri could at least see himself contending with the likes of Esteban Ocon and Alpine's latest signee, Pierre Gasly. Being in such a fortunate position to start his F1 career, Piastri's chances of making it to top-tier teams like Mercedes are naturally amplified.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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