McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown believes that Formula 1 rookie Oscar Piastri could potentially become a “future world champion,” given his impressive performance during the first half of the 2023 season. McLaren secured the services of Piastri after winning eight Grand Prix races before their contract with him expired. Piastri has already won the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019, FIA F3 in 2020, and F2 in 2021, breaking up with Daniel Ricciardo, as he continues to climb the junior single-seat ladder.
Although the McLaren MCL60 has been plagued by excessive aerodynamic drag and sensitivity to changes in balance due to low-grip situations this season, Piastri managed to finish eighth at the Australian mother race, his first of the season, to score F1 points. Despite suffering from stomach pain, he also finished 10th in the Azerbaijan sprint race. However, Piastri’s camp had been hit by an electrical failure that forced him to retire from the season opener in Bahrain and a brake-by-wire failure at the previous round in Miami.
Nevertheless, Brown believes that Piastri can potentially become an F1 champion in the future, provided that the Woking team can provide him with a more competitive car. “We’re very impressed with him,” Brown said. “He’s never been to all these [circuits used so far in 2023], so there are early signs that a future world champion is on our hands. We now need to work hard to give him a faster car.”
Piastri’s teammate, Lando Norris, has also hinted that he is more competitive than his predecessor, Daniel Ricciardo. Brown added that McLaren has a great driving line-up now and couldn’t have imagined a better driver combination than Oscar and Lando. “Since we had Oscar in the car, he’s been impressive. He’s very grown-up. He’s very focused and did a great job. Now we trade lap times with Lando. That’s what you want.”