Piastri: High personal standards ease 'external pressure'

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McLaren has high expectations from Oscar Piastri, but the Aussie says no one sets higher standards than himself, which makes it easier for the F1 rookie to deal with outside pressure.

Last year, McLaren seized upon an opportunity to poach Piastri from Alpine to replace the underperforming Daniel Ricciardo.

One year on, the Woking-based outfit couldn't be happier with the performance and results produced so far by its 22-year-old novice, a young man in which McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown sees a future F1 World Champion.

"Yeah, we’re on the money with that choice," Brown said recently. "I have every reason to believe he's a future World Champion with what we're seeing right now.

"And he's only getting better, right? I mean, look at him in Silverstone, at Spa. He's kind of doing what Lando did in his rookie year: he might not quite get the whole lap together or he’ll nail his three sectors but be a little bit untidy, just typical rookie stuff.

"But he's not sticking it in the fence. So, I see a lot in Oscar of what I saw in Lando in his year one."

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Piastri will take Browns's comments any day of the week, but insists that his own personal standards exceed the lofty expectations expressed by his employer.

"It’s nice to have those comments and the belief from Zak and the whole team, that they’ve got belief in me, and also, we’re not here to mess around, that that’s what we’re here to try and achieve," Piastri told Speedcafe.

"Granted, I also want to achieve that, and probably even more so than Zak does.

"That sort of comment and compliment is similar to what I’ve had in my junior categories, where I’ve always tried to set higher standards for myself than anyone else.

"With that way of thinking, the most pressure, I guess, always comes from yourself, and in some ways, makes dealing with external pressure a bit easier.

"But yeah, it’s certainly nice to have that belief and hear those words from Zak, and hopefully we can achieve that together one day."

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella echoed Brown's eulogistic view while highlighting the exceptional collection of qualities that set Piastri apart from many of his peers.

"First of all, you see the speed," Stella said. "Drivers who have the potential to become world championship material need to have a natural speed, which we saw straightaway.

"Then they need to have the head – the capacity, the capability to use their talent, which Oscar establishes in an interesting way.

Oscar Piastri (AUS) McLaren MCL60 leaves the pits. 02.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Qualifying Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

"He keeps his head very clean of noise, and disturbances. He has a strong attitude to learning because he doesn’t distract himself.

"We saw this straightaway, in testing, but also in the early races of the season, and then it became more apparent as the car became competitive that he can compete at the top of Formula 1.

"So it’s a natural talent, a capability to learn, and then he’s a good person, with a set of values, ethics, ethos.

"It is these three elements that are part of the race craft, that world champion craft, that we can see in Oscar."

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