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Oscar Piastri

Piastri explains 'extra comfort factor' with McLaren

Oscar Piastri does not feel much has changed in his approach to F1 from his first season, but does acknowledge an "extra comfort factor" in his second campaign.

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Oscar Piastri says he has not noticed a change in himself or his race preparation in his second season in F1, but feels it has been a "more comfortable" start to the current campaign than last year.

The 23-year-old has impressed since making his debut at the start of last year, and whilst McLaren initially struggled in 2023, Piastri and team-mate Lando Norris benefitted from the papaya outfit's rapid rate of improvement.

It experienced a sharp turn around in fortunates from this point last season, with an early summer upgrade package vaulting the Woking team up the grid at last year's Austrian Grand Prix.

Coupled with another considerable step forward in recent rounds this term, Piastri finds himself with a car that will be able to fight for podiums and potentially even race wins on a consistent basis as the season heads towards summer.

However, despite the stark change in standing and performance from a year ago, the Australian does not feel different - insisting he still prepares for race weekends in the same way.

"Not massively," he told media including RacingNews365 when asked if he had noticed a change in himself in his second season. "I think the start of the year has been a bit more comfortable than say 12 months ago. 

"A bit more established, bit more confidence, a few more results under my belt. So it's just that extra comfort factor."

'It kind of naturally evolves...'

The in-season development McLaren harnessed last year propelled Piastri to a first race win in F1 - the Qatar Grand Prix sprint. And whilst Norris took an elusive first grand prix victory in Miami at the 110th time of ask, his less experienced team-mate will have to bide his time.

After eight rounds in 2023, the Australian driver had five points. This season, he is already on 71 and is already just 26 points shy of his debut campaign total.

For Piastri, though, despite being more settling in the championship and having considerably more points at this stage than last year, not a great deal is different to how he approaches life in F1 - apart from having a prior reference point to draw upon.

"Everything else is more or less the same, to be honest," he said. "The nerves are still there. The preparation is still very similar to how it was. 

"It's just, instead of going to a lot of these places for the first time in an F1 car, you've got that experience already. So it kind of naturally evolves, but not changing the world."

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