McLaren: Still ‘more to cash in’ for improving Piastri


McLaren team boss Andrea Stella heaped praise on Oscar Piastri for the young Aussie continued development, insisting there’s much “more to cash in” for the 22-year-old charger.

Piastri entered his sophomore year in Formula 1 after a solid rookie season in which he claimed his maiden podiums and especially his first race win, taking victory in a Sprint event in Qatar.

In Australia, a team order ultimately placed Piastri fourth at the checkered flag, just behind McLaren team mate Lando Norris who was given a strategic preference in the race due to his fresher tyres.

Stella noted how well Piastri dealt with his graining tyres around Albert Park, an achievement that reflected the young gun’s growing race management and execution qualities, as highlighted by the McLaren team principal in what he described as “a delicate situation”.

“Even compared to last year in Australia, or even Japan, and other places at the start of the season, we've gone a long way forward,” Stella said, commenting on Piastri’s solid progress.

“It's extremely encouraging to think that this is only coming at the start of the second season.”

McLaren’s faith in Piastri has always been well-founded. But Stella reckons that the Aussie still has a significant margin of progress ahead of him.

“If you think how much he has to cash in more in terms of improvement, I think it looks very strong for the future from Oscar’s point of view. [In Australia], it was properly complicated,” said the Italian.

As a fast learner, Piastri is able to quickly learn from different on-track situations and leverage his growing experience, something which has been instrumental to his development according to Stella.

“When I talk about adapting, this is not adapting to when a problem starts. This is adapting to prevent the problem to start,” he explained.

“You sort of have to understand from the context that, ‘Oh, this context would lead to this problem' before the problem actually manifests itself.

“When you are a rookie, you need to sort of lead into the problem and then realise how you got there.

“So, I think that's the mechanism where he is now much more aware that some conditions will lead to some problems.


“So, when he was driving the tyres around, I think he was feeling that if you overdo the front tyre a little bit then the tyres are not going to be happy from a graining point of view,” he added.

“So, you start to understand where is the limit potentially, even going one kph [faster].

“It's a fine tuning, almost like a self-calibration exercise through experience.”

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