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McLaren expect Piastri to be 'one of the best on the grid'

McLaren team boss Andrea Stella has praised Oscar Piastri for the talent he has shown since starting with the team this year.

After a lengthly battle over his services last summer, Oscar Piastri's Formula 1 debut ultimately only lasted 12 laps. It denied fans the opportunity to see him rise through the field, after a mistake-ridden lap in qualifying forced him to exit Q1 and put him in P18 for the start. But, according to McLaren team boss Andrea Stella, we have yet to see the best of the Australian, who proved his worth as "winning material" throughout his career in junior categories. "Oscar is new to F1 but he is proven winning material in junior categories. He has been doing very well so far – we are very pleased," said Stella in an interview with F1 . "The level of talent, the level of progress we have seen day by day, during testing, is very encouraging, and kind of confirms that he is a strong prospect for the future."

Piastri's 'awareness' is what impresses McLaren the most

During his days racing in the junior categories, one of the most impressive things about Piastri was his ability to read a race and react to what was happening strategically. It was this trait that earned him high praise from Prema Racing Team boss Rene Rosin while racing in Formula 3 and Formula 2. Stella says Piastri's awareness while driving enables the engineers to correlate the data exactly with his feedback when he gets out of the car. "What impresses us is his awareness of his opportunities while driving. He could come back and make comments like, 'I think I braked a little too early in corner one, I didn't go on the throttle early enough in four'. Then you look at the data and it is exactly it," said Stella. "Then he goes out for the second run and he cashes in on these opportunities. For me, this is a definition of talent [and] we see a lot of it. We are also, like I said before, pleased with the improvement we have seen day by day. "F1 is a very, very competitive game, so he just has to go through his own trajectory, and I'm sure the final destination will be one of the best drivers on the grid."

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