Written by Cameron Gale, Edited by Meghana Sree
Oscar Piastri, an F1 Rookie, has taken his first ever victory in Formula One. This was the first time since Sebastian Vettel in 2008 and here’s how Piastri managed it.
Arguably, the Australian has had one of the best rookie seasons in recent years with eleven top ten finishes and four top fives, and three podiums (including the Sprints). Even in Formula 2, he was one of the standout drivers who was consistently quick, and he is now considered as a future world champion in the making by many. His win in the Qatar Sprint Race was also the first win Mclaren have had since Daniel Ricciardo’s 2021 win at Monza.
Piastri started the Qatar weekend on strong footing as he was in the top ten during Free Practice One and managed to get a remarkable pole position in the Sprint Shootout. In the Qualifying on Friday, the young Australian landed in the sixth position and out-qualified his more experienced teammate, Lando Norris, by four positions. Finally in the Sprint Race, he got his maiden F1 victory and immediately garnered everyone's attention as he was the first rookie since Vettel to accomplish this feat.
He continued his impressive form with a P2 finish during Sunday's Qatar Grand Prix. After starting P6 on the grid, he managed to benefit from a turn one incident involving the two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, which resulted in a safety car. At the restart, Max Verstappen who was P1 managed to get the jump on Piastri, leaving him with pressure from a very quick Fernando Alonso. Later in the race, he had to withstand the pressure of his faster teammate Norris, who despite being told by his engineer to keep position kept pushing to overtake him. Nevertheless, ultimately Piastri dealt with the pressure very well like he has all season round, and secured a P2 finish; his best Grand Prix result yet in F1.
As mentioned earlier, Piastri has always had a gift of being quick as he won 26% of races in the 2021 Formula 2 season. That one season was all that was needed to prove to some F1 teams that he was an exceptional young talent. To top it all off, he also secured the Formula 2 World Drivers’ Championship in the same year, being the first to do so in a rookie season since Russell in 2018.
Piastri is sure to be a driver to watch in the coming years, being one of the youngest on the current F1 grid and already showing signs of long-term success in the sport. With five races to go in 2023, and a fresh contract extension till at least 2026 at McLaren, there truly is no limit to the wonders that the Australian driver could achieve on track.