Mark Webber has praised Oscar Piastri's progression so far in F1, with the Australian now working alongside an "elite" teammate in Lando Norris.
Prior to Piastri making his rookie debut with McLaren in 2023, Webber – who acts as the 22-year-old's manager – admits that he has seen a continued development in the youngster over the past few years.
"He won [the 2020 Formula 3] championship, not overly comfortably," Webber told the F1 Nation podcast.
"But it was the championship through Covid, so I think there [were] nine events in 11 weeks or something, and it wasn't without technical challenges. His car put up a bit of a fight that year, but he still got the job done.
"And then he moved into Formula 2. [He] did a very, very, very good job there, pretty much dominated that in his first year, which was great.
"There was one in-season test, and I saw him in that test and I thought, 'He's going to just destroy this'. And he did from then on, which was pretty good to watch."
'Unfortunate' gap for Piastri
Following his Formula 2 championship, Piastri became Alpine's test and reserve driver for 2022, a year in which he was left without an opportunity to race.
Webber acknowledges that this experience was tough for the young driver.
"[He had] a little bit of testing with Alpine – not a huge amount, but some testing there, which was good," Webber explained.
"But then he had a gap, which was unfortunate for a guy of his level and calibre. It's the first time that's ever happened, where someone should have gone up really to continue racing.
"So that was really hard for him last year."
Viewed by others:
Piastri working with Norris
Piastri is now three races into his debut Formula 1 season, a campaign that has proven difficult for McLaren so far.
Despite this, the Australian scored his first points on home turf at the Albert Park Circuit, and Webber also feels that he is working well with new teammate Norris.
"Here he is, his learning is underway," Webber said.
"He's in the elite of the elite now, which is F1. He's got an elite teammate in Lando and he's enjoying [it].
"They're getting on like a house on fire and just working hard to make McLaren perform better in the future."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.