Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement, Oscar Piastri’s, presented a calm attitude and work ethic which impressed McLaren. Young Oscar Piastri’s calmness and work ethic particularly impressed his McLaren race engineer, Tom Stallard during the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 test.
Oscar Piastri’s race engineer, Tom Stallard, says he has been particularly impressed with the young Australian’s demeanour and work ethic during his extensive testing with McLaren this year.
Oscar Piastri will begin his Formula One career in 2023 with the McLaren team, with whom the Australian has signed a multi-year contract. He will directly replace his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo – who was dismissed by the team at the end of the 2022 season a year before the end of his contract.
Preparation for F1 2023
As part of his preparation to become a full-time F1 driver, Piastri was given a full test programme in 2022, with the opportunity to drive an older generation car (from the 2021 season) as well as the MCL36 from the 2022 campaign, including a test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi after the final race of the year and before heading to Barcelona where he was able to drive the 2021 MCL35M one last time.
In 2023, Oscar Piastri will be working closely with his race engineer Tom Stallard (Ricciardo’s former engineer) and the pair have already had a full-scale test in Barcelona and the British engineer was particularly impressed with Piastri’s work ethic to say the least.
“He is incredibly calm all the time. He’s very calm, very mature and unflappable,” said Tom Stallard of Oscar Piastri.
“Oscar is also very adaptable, and it’s impressive how he’s been able to modulate his entry [into corners] and adjust his braking to get the best out of the car.”
“He is making a lot of progress, and I think he now clearly understands what the car needs. He’s been able to do that very effectively, and we’re very excited about that.”
Development of the new car
After a year of ‘preparation’, Piastri was able to visit all the staff at the Woking factory in early December before flying to Australia for the festive season. Upon his return to Europe in January, Piastri will have to focus directly on the development of the 2023 car.
“We have a lot of work planned after his return from Australia,” added Tom Stallard.
“From the moment we get in the new car in Bahrain [for winter testing], we want to have completed all of Oscar’s preparation, so we can focus on understanding the new car and what it needs.”
In 2023, Oscar Piastri will team up with Britain’s Lando Norris at McLaren. In 2022, the Woking-based team finished fifth in the constructors’ championship.