Oscar Piastri has admitted surprise over how quickly he adapted to life as a full-time driver in Formula 1 this year.
The Australian spent his rookie campaign with McLaren alongside Lando Norris and scored two podiums during the season.
After winning the Formula 2 title in 2021, Piastri sat out the 2022 campaign before a battle for his signature occurred between Alpine and McLaren.
With a successful junior career underneath him and more than one team interested in his services, Piastri felt that there was pressure on his shoulders to perform.
“There was definitely an element of expectation, I think for me, mostly from my junior achievements and of course how I came into Formula 1 as well,” Piastri said in an interview with F1.
“So I tried to not think about it and tried to do the best job I could, just focus on driving. Obviously, without racing last year, it made life a bit more difficult at the start.
“I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I found myself getting back up to speed in racing situations.
“But definitely there was an element of expectation. But I always like to think that I've put the most expectation on myself, so everything else is kind of just secondary.”
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Piastri's winter plans
With the winter break now in play after the season ended in Abu Dhabi last month, Piastri stated he is using the time off to relax after a hectic season.
“So much of our lives as drivers are spent at the track, in the simulator, doing partner activities, doing interviews, there’s not much time.
“I think this year, I've really tried to focus on making sure I started off my F1 career on the right foot and not have any distractions.
“So Oscar away from the track at the moment is quite lazy, just recharging.
“Sleeping in your own bed, seeing friends, seeing my girlfriend, just the sort of simple things in life that you actually don't really get to do because we've travelled so much.”