Oscar Piastri does not believe his impressive record in junior categories places any additional pressure on him as he prepares for his Formula 1 debut in 2023.
Piastri claimed the 2020 Formula 3 and 2021 Formula 2 titles at the first attempts before being forced into a year out as a seat could not be found for him in F1 by previous team Alpine.
After a contract dispute ended with McLaren securing his services, he made his official debut with the team on the first day of pre-season testing.
The MCL60 is proving a tricky machine for the team to master, with boss Zak Brown admitting that "targets" had been missed.
However, Piastri believes that he will be judged as equally as the other 19 drivers on the grid, despite his glowing record.
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Piastri dismisses claim
"I think in terms of my junior results, obviously it has been my ticket into F1," he explained to media, including RacingNews365.
"For me, it's only a good thing that I can look back at with confidence, and I think regarding the contract situation last year, firstly it is closed and pretty clear cut, so I don't think that aspect in particular adds [any more pressure].
"There's obviously an element of expectation, but that is to be expected for all rookies when we are one of 20 drivers in Formula 1.
"There's always going to be a lot of eyes on us, so I don't think that's really been affected too much."
Piastri taken aback by scale
The Australian also noted that it would take him time to adjust to the scale of Grand Prix teams, which are several times bigger than teams in formula categories.
"It's definitely a step up, and I think coming from the junior categories, the size of the team is a lot bigger by a magnitude of 10 or more," he said.
"That side of things is taking a bit of getting used to, just trying to remember the hundreds and hundreds of people.
"Also, being one of two drivers, in a team that big, where you make your own car and don't just get given the car by a manufacturer for the series (like Dallara in F2), is a nice privilege to have and it is nice to be able to have some input into that."
Ahead of the 2023 F1 season, RacingNews365.com journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth look back on a winter break laden with intrigue and controversy.