Oscar Piastri said he was prepared to “get stuck” during his rookie season, learning as much as possible about the world of Formula 1.
Back-to-back winner of Formula Renault Eurocup, Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles arrives in the top flight after a year on the sidelines of motorsport as Alpine’s reserve driver, to partner Lando Norris to form the youngest combined driver line-up on the grid in the next season at McLaren.
Team CEO Zak Brown has previously spoken of hoping the young Aussie will have a brief period of ‘race rust’ as he gets used to being back in the middle of a field full of cars again, but he has already taken part in plenty of McLaren testing as he prepares for life at his new team, replacing Daniel Ricciardo for the year ahead.
The 21-year-old is now eager to prove his time as a Formula 1 driver but added that good results would be a “bonus” at this stage.
“It’s good to see the beast alive,” Piastri said in an interview with McLaren after their 2023 challenger was sacked at their Woking HQ.
“So yeah, all good, and it’s getting closer and closer to the start of the year, so I’m very, very excited.
Five big headlines from Fred Vasseur’s first media briefing as Ferrari team boss
The former F1 drivers you can see in action at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona
Race of Champions 2023: Which F1 drivers past and present are racing in Sweden?
“We hope for a good result,” he added of his goals for the season opener in Bahrain. “I don’t know yet. But yeah, I mean, for me personally, try to learn as much as possible, get some good results, so that would be a bonus.
“But yeah, go out and have fun, enjoy my first race in over a year, have fun and get stuck.”
Looking more broadly at the season ahead, Piastri is taking a pragmatic view of his first year in Formula 1, saying he wants to absorb as much knowledge as possible into the first year of his multi-season deal with McLaren.
But with that, she believes learning will naturally bring about positive outcomes as a byproduct of the work she does on and off the track.
“My ’23 goal is to learn as much as I can,” he said. “I think there is a lot to learn in the world of F1 and I think putting results aside, I think as long as I follow everything as best I can and learn as much as I can and do everything right, then I think results will come naturally. .
“So do everything right, start off on the right foot and make sure I have fun too.”