Webber 'an invaluable and calming influence on Piastri'

Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren 18.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images
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The role of former F1 driver Mark Webber on the rapidly advancing career of McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri has been lauded by the driver's father this week.

Piastri had his best weekend so far at Silverstone where he qualified for the british Grand Prix in the top three and only narrowly missed out on a podium because of the timing of a safety car.

Before that success, Piastri had picked up his maiden championship points in his home race in Australia and finished in the top ten again in Monaco, making him the only 2023 rookie to do so in the first ten races of the year.

With his latest result, Piastri is now 11th in the drivers championship putting him ahead of the likes of Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas.

And Chris Piastri has been talking about how much his son has benefitted from the guidance of Webber as his manager and mentor for the last three years.

It was Webber who convinced Piastri not to sign up for Alpine last year but to hold out for a seat at McLaren, which finally happened when the team decided to drop Daniel Ricciardo at the end of last season.

Since then, Piastri's faith in Webber - and Webber's in McLaren - has been well rewarded, as he's struck up a good working relationship with his team mate Lando Norris.

“Throughout the season Oscar has just been slowly ticking the boxes, providing the little bits of feedback in the engineering debriefs, and it’s all boosting his confidence," his father Chris told Australian site Speedcafe.

“It’s just really good to see. He’s doing what he did in F3 and F2 - just going through the motions, doing what needs to be done, staying calm, and putting the lap in when it counts.”

Mark Webber (AUS) Channel 4 Presenter.
01.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Sprint Day.
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"Mark has been fantastic in his support of Oscar, giving him that little nudge when he needs it, or calming him down when he needs it," he added. "Not that Oscar needs calming down too much!

“Mark’s experience is invaluable for Oscar," said Chris. "He doesn’t really give Oscar much assistance in the car - and honestly I don’t think Oscar needs it – but it has helped with all the other stuff, the external stuff outside of racing.

“As you know, Formula 1 can be quite a political minefield, but Mark gives the guidance, and steadies the ship when needed," he explained.

(L to R): Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren celebrates his second position in qualifying parc ferme with third placed team mate Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren.
08.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Qualifying Day.
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“It’s that quiet achievement vibe," he suggested. "Mark did it his whole career and the personality of both Oscar and Mark are very similar. It’s just great to see, they’re a great team.”

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